Sri Lanka opens Bengal tiger safari park to boost wildlife tourism
The Safari Park was inaugurated by the Minister of Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs, John Amaratunga.
The Bengal Tiger Enclosure consists of nine acres and is the first area to be opened at Safari Park.
At present there are six Bengal tigers in the enclosure including three males.
Another male Bangal Tiger will be transported to the park from the National Zoological Gardens in Dehiwala in the capital Colombo, additional director of Safari Park in Hambantota, said Hemantha Samarasekara.
As a safety measure, the enclosure has a 16-foot-high wall and a chain-like fence. Three electric fences are connected to the chain like a wall.
The enclosure has a pond for swimming, a reservoir and artificial caves.
Samarasekara said the Safari Park was built at an estimated cost of US $ 893,000.
In addition to the Bengal Tiger Enclosure, a four-acre herbivore area has also been opened and includes deer, hog deer, barking deer, mouse deer, turtles, ducks, emus, rabbits and hares. The herbivorous area has a pond, shelters and sprinklers for the animals.
The Sri Lankan government recently said it aims to promote the island country as a safari destination due to its 26 national parks covering an area of ââ5,734 square kilometers (2,214 square miles), much of which is protected by the Sri Lanka Department of Wildlife Conservation.
Sri Lanka’s national parks are home to majestic elephants, leopards, several species of mammals, rare species of birds, reptiles and species of lagoon fauna.