Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Soon, second lion safari at Tulsishyam

Soon, second lion safari at Tulsishyam
Times of India By Himanshu Kaushik

New 30-Km Safari Brings Lions Closer To A'bad

As the lion king conquers newer territories and moves out of the protected Gir forest, there are more 'darbars' coming up as well. Not just Sasan, lion safari will now be possible in areas outside Gir. To ease tourist pressure triggered by the Amitabh Bachchan ad campaign on Sasan sanctuary, forest authorities plan to start a second lion safari near Tulsishyam in Amreli district where the big cats roam free. The lion has never had so much company. And, forest officials believe too much of tourist pressure can have an adverse impact on wild life. During Diwali, about 30,000 people thronged the jungle to have the glimpse of the king. Between October 25 and 31, daily an average of 3,000 tourists visited Sasan and about 5,000 went to Devaliya zone — a cordoned area which has a sizeable number of lions.

However, only about 1,200 tourists could take the safari at Sasan every day. This safari starts from two spots at Bhambhabore and Kankai Naka. "We have decided to have a second safari on the lines of Sasan. This will be near Tulsishyam," said SK Nanda, principal secretary, forest.

The new safari, proposed from Tulsishyam check post to Rawaldam, covers about 30 km. "This site is a perfect location for lion-spotting," he said.

The forest department is also readying another cordoned area at Ambardi on the lines of Devaliya. "Put together, the two initiatives will ease pressure on Sasan," he said. Tourism department officials believe a new safari will bring the lion closer to cities like Ahmedabad and Vadodara.

"Tourists will not have to go all the way to Gir. Also, people heading towards Diu will get an opportunity to go for lion safari in Amreli," said an official.

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