Eco Tourism

West Bengal to open aviaries to boost tourism

The Bengal forest department is going to open eight aviaries at the South Khayerbari Nature Park in Alipurduar district to enhance tourism.

The nature park was inaugurated in 2005, which has lost its gleam after the leopard safari has stopped seven years ago, as the battery-run vehicles which were used to carry tourists to the enclosure went out of operation.

“Even though the safari had stopped, at least 200 people visit the site during the tourism season. At present, there are seven leopards and one royal Bengal tiger at the nature park. It also has four cottages and boating facility are available,” said a forest officer.

“We have planned to reintroduction the leopard safari at the South Khayerbari Nature Park in a large enclosure. We are awaiting permission from the Central Zoo Authority. Meanwhile, to keep the inflow of tourists, we are planning to open up aviaries which will become the dwelling for several species of birds.  The plan is to open eight aviaries, but for the time being two aviaries will be open,” said Binoy Krishna Burman, Forest Minister of the state.

The proposed leopard safari will come up on 20 hectares. The site has already been identified for the project. “We have taken up works like construction of a boundary wall of the existing leopard rescue center. Once the approval from the zoo authority reaches to us, work of the enclosure and the safari will also begin,” added the forest minister.

As per the plan, 12 leopards will be there at the enclosure and a car will be put into service to take visitors inside the enclosure to watch the animals from a close distance.

“It is good that the forest department has planned to resume the leopard safari and will launch aviaries in the park. Once initiated, these steps would surely attract more people to the Khayerbari,” said Biplab Dey, the joint secretary of Dooars Tourism Development Forum.

The South Khayerbari Nature Park is located on the outskirts of Jaldapara National Park, with around 42 km distance from Alipurduar.