Bhubaneswar's Nandankanan Zoo heralds bear safari park for nature lovers
The Nandankanan Zoo here has become the country's third zoo to house a bear safari park after those in Hyderabad and Bangalore, which will give a closer view to the nature lovers.
About eight sloth bears would be kept in the safari park, while two will be in enclosures, The park was thrown open to the public on December 29.
While inaugurating the safari, Odisha's Forest and Environment Minister Bijayasri Routray, said the authorities have been asked to put more animals in the zoo.
"It is definitely a matter of pride for Nandankanan. The bear that you saw is an Asiatic bear which is available in India and that species have been kept in the safari. We have requested the zoo authorities to add more number of bears to the safari, so that they can be sighted easily," said Routray.
The safari spread across 4.1 hectares and built at an estimated cost of Rs 2 crore, including basic infrastructure was took almost a year to commission.
The zoo administrators are contemplating to keep 20 bears inside the safari once the species are procured from other zoos in the country.
J D Sharma, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, said that safari will serve as a medium of educating visitors about environment and conservation.
"People in Orissa and all those who are lovers of Nandankanan zoological park, with whose support it has gone up to that level. Visitors, school students will be educated and they will also learn about conservation and other related studies on that," said Sharma.
Over 52,000 visitors are expected to turn up at the zoo on January 1, 2013.