Gung-ho on wildlife tourism, govt plans to upgrade state wildlife sanctuaries

August 06, 2022 | 05:43 IST

Gung-ho on wildlife tourism, govt plans to upgrade state wildlife sanctuaries

Minister of Forests seeks corporate funding to run Bondla Zoo and recruits retired IFS officer to help plan activities to attract tourists

Team Herald

PANJIM: Nature lovers will soon be able to enjoy jungle safaris, campsites with views, treks and eco-trails as part of Goa government plans to promote wildlife and tourism in the hinterland of State.

The state government has engaged retired IFS officer Vinay Luthra to develop various plans – short, medium and long term – for the upgrading of wildlife sanctuaries in Goa over the next five years. .

Forestry Minister Vishwajit Rane is also planning to introduce corporate funding to run the state’s only zoo at Bondla under the direction of the Forestry Department.

Rane had a productive interaction with Luthra on Friday, attended by Senior Chief Conservator of Forests Rajiv Kumar Gupta and Additional Chief Conservator of Forests Santosh Kumar.

“We have drawn up various plans for upgrading wildlife sanctuaries, focusing on improving and creating a robust ecosystem,” the minister tweeted after the meeting.

Goa has five wildlife sanctuaries – Bondla, Mhadei, Netravali, Cotigao and Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and National Park, and Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary in Chorao.

Speaking to the media, Rane said the department is considering introducing jungle safaris, developing campsites and introducing eco-trails and guided sanctuary treks to attract more tourists to wildlife tourism. . “We need to create the necessary ecosystem for the animals to have a jungle safari park. We also need to develop a sustainable food chain for the animals,” he said.

“Our sanctuaries need immediate care and promotion,” he said, adding that corporate funding will be introduced to develop the forestry sector for tourism, and in the first phase the overhaul of Bondla Zoo will be undertaken. .

The department also decided to expand the turtle nesting site area to Galjibag. For each of these projects, local community services will be mobilized, he added.

Herald previously reported the Forest Department’s plans to launch a one-of-a-kind tiger safari in and around Bondla Zoo’s protected areas, which is expected to welcome the new pair of tigers after the monsoon season.

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