BBP still dilly dallying on leopard safari

Ride awaited

On several occasions, leopards that were housed at the BBP have escaped by scaling the fence and leaping over it. Reuters file photo

Venturing out to build the country’s first-ever leopard safari on its premises, the Bannerghatta Biological Park, located on the outskirts of Bengaluru, is confronted by a peculiar problem that is affecting the pace of the work.

Working on the project, spread across 20 acres, the officials are apprehensive about making the proposal a reality owing to the leopards’ unique instinct of scaling heights and leaping over the fences.

Acknowledging the concerns, BBP executive director Sanjay Bijoor told DH that executing the project, in reality, would indeed be a difficult task, owing to the behaviour of the carnivore. “We have already created the boundary.

But now, we are yet to decide on the type of structure that we need to build. Till date, except building the boundary wall, no work has been done,” Bijoor explained.

The BBP’s apprehension about the project is attributed to the past incidents at the park. On several occasions, leopards that were housed at the BBP have escaped by scaling the fence and leaping over it.

In February 2016, a male leopard, that was rescued from the Vibgyor School in Whitefield and kept at the BBP’s rescue centre, had escaped overnight.

Similarly, the leopards housed at the zoo had also leapt out of their enclosures by scaling the fence.

Confirming the problem, B P Ravi, additional chief conservator of forests and member secretary of the Zoo Authority of Karnataka, said: “The Central Zoo Authority has given a set of suggestions.

We have been advised to build a six-metre fence structure with a slope gradient of 1.5 m at an angle of 45 degrees. Besides this, the surface of the boundary should be slippery so that the leopards find it difficult to jump.

As the concept design for the project is yet to be finalised, we are delaying the tender process.”

In 2016, Rs 6 crore was allocated to build the leopard safari between the existing safari areas of the sloth bear, lions and tigers. Currently, citing the advanced veterinary care at the BBP, almost all the rescued leopards from across the state are brought to the park for rehabilitation.

As on date, the BBP has more than 32 leopards housed at its rescue centre.

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BBP still dilly dallying on leopard safari


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