Bannerghatta zoo to get exclusive tiger enclosure

Bannerghatta zoo to get exclusive tiger enclosure

The Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) is creating a special tiger enclosure at the Bannerghatta Zoo in order to provide more attraction for visitors who do not take the safari.

To be built along the lines of the now popular leopard enclosure at the zoo, it will be a must-see spectacle for children this summer. Spread across half an acre of land, the enclosure will house four tigers – two white and two brown Royal Bengal tigers.

The enclosure will be similar to the one at the Mysuru's Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, but will not have glass partition. It will be a more open enclosure with grills for safety. It will be located next to the Himalayan Bear enclosure at the zoo.

“The Rs 75-lakh project is being executed with the help of the Infosys Foundation. The design and plan have been prepared and approved by us but the Foundation is funding it. Presently the work is in progress will be completed in about two months. In the mean time we are also searching for the most compatible tigers so that they do not fight and visitors enjoy the activities the tigers indulge in,” the Chief Conservator of Forests and BBP Executive Director Range Gowda told Deccan Herald.

The idea of a separate tiger enclosure was mooted when the chairperson of Infosys Foundation, Sudha Murty, visited the zoo in May, 2014. The idea behind the plan is that not many people go on the safari, which is the highlight of the zoo.

They only visit the zoo area and complain that there are not many animals compared to other zoos. So four tigers from the safari will be kept in the zoo enclosure, Gowda said.
The total number of visitors to the BBP in 2013-14 was 12.14 lakh of which only 5.52 lakh people went on the safari. The rates are another deterrent. The zoo entry costs only Rs 80, while the Grand Safari  (which comprises lion, tiger, bear, herbivore and butterfly park) costs Rs 270.

“Increasing the number of enclosures and expanding the area is a part of the recently approved Bannerghatta Master Plan. Further, many children coming on school excursions do not go for the safari and they are very disappointed because they have not seen a tiger. We have the space, only resources are a constraint. Thus the first step is to create a tiger enclosure and once we find others to fund them, lion enclosures will be created as a next step,” Gowda said.

“In addition to this we are working towards creating an exclusive leopard safari. The Rs 3.5-crore project is before the Public Works Department for approval. The Central Zoo Authority has approved the proposal and once the State government clearance is obtained work on this will also start. It is likely to take another month to get the clearance,” he said.
DH News Service

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