Gujarat’s southern areas such as Surat and Dangs will soon have Leopard Safari Parks. These districts will get a boost in the number of tourist footfall with this new development. These safari parks will be an addition to the already existing safari attractions in the state. The lion safari in Gujarat offered by the State Forest Department at Sasan Gir is a prized tourist delight and the new development will bring in adventure lovers to explore the wildlife.
For this upcoming project, The Central Zoo authorities in India have already granted the green signal. Apart from the safari parks, new rescue centres will also be setup in the two districts of Gujarat. In the recent census on leopards, records suggest Surat has 35 leopards, while Dangs has 54 big cats.
The selected locations for this project are- 50 hectares of forest land in Khodamba village in Mandvi taluka of Surat district, while in Dangs it is the Vaghai taluka spread on 32 hectares of forest.
The Forest Department have revealed their plans for the upcoming project. Both of the proposed leopard safari parks are planned in a way so that the wild cats can be kept in open areas and not in cages. Both these parks aim to let the leopards live in their natural habitat. Fenced from all the sides, both the safari parks will have accessible five-metre-wide roads to take tourists for a safari in bus.
In addition of the safari parks, there are plans to include facilities of a veterinary hospital, an administrative building, watch towers, etc. For tourists in the safari parks, there will guides chosen from forest staffers to explain about leopards’ behavior and more.
For the upcoming proposal, the Deputy Conservator of Forest, Puneet Nayyar said, “For the first time, Gujarat will develop two leopard safari parks in Surat and Dangs. In the next couple of months, the detailed project report will be available for both these parks. Following which, the projects will begin work. Also, safari in these parks will be available only in buses.”
In addition of the proposal for tourist, the safari parks will also care for nature and wildlife. The project proposes that leopards suffering from permanent disability, injury from accident or old-age ailments, etc. will also be kept in the safari parks. Here they will be giving their stay they will be given medical treatment by veterinary doctors. In case they recover, Forest officials will release them in the wild. If the damage is permanent they will be sheltered in these parks.