DNA | Last Modified - Jul 16, 2011, 04:15 AM IST
Jaipur: Now, you don't have to go to Sariska and Ranthambhore or travel as far as Gir National Park in Gujarat to watch a pride of lions.
The forest department is all set to open Nahargarh Biological Park and rescue centre for tourist safaris. According to the Central Zoo Authority (CZA), there are currently 23 lions and 12 tigers at the Nahargarh rescue centre.
"We have planned to develop two or three routes in and around the Nahargarh Biological Park on which tourists will be allowed safaris with trained guides on jeeps by forest department. The tourists, visiting the park, will be charged a fee according to the policy of department and they will enjoy seeing these animals along with other wild life. The initiative will give direct and indirect employment to around 400 people," said Ajay Gupta, director of Jaipur Zoo.
This would be the first ecotourism site near Jaipur expected to get a huge response due to number of tourists visiting the city every year along with the local visitors. Forest department has also planned to include the historical buildings, baoris and peaks of Aravali hills in the safari route.
"It is a welcome step as ecotourism aims at providing eco-tourist with nature tourism and also generate economic return to strengthen protected areas," Gaj Singh Alsisar a hotelier said.
The CZA has established five rescue centres including Nahargarh Biological Park in Jaipur which can accommodate 30 lions and 20 tigers.
The Government of India has put a ban on performance of lion, tiger, panther, bear and monkeys in circuses a few years ago.