After eight months delay, safari at Atal Bihari Vajpayee Zoological Park, under Bilikal Reserve Forest, will be thrown open to the public on Friday.
In 2018, Indira Priyadarshini Deer Park was opened. In November. the same year, the then chief minister Siddaramaiah had announced starting lion and tiger safari in the zoological park.
An environmentalist had approached the court challenging the state government's decision to open safari. Also, the slow-paced works in providing necessary infrastructure, including erecting metal fencing around the lion and tiger enclosures, further delayed the opening of safari.
After months delay, the works have been completed and the authorities are all set to throw open the safari to the visitors from Friday.
Four tigers and two lions have been brought to the zoo two months back for acclimatisation. The big cats have been kept at the designated areas. Plans are afoot to bring two more lions and a tiger.
The zoological park, located on 149.50 hectares, houses over 80 species of birds. Along with safari, bird watching and study will be allowed at the zoo. The zoo staff has grown thousands of trees with minimal water.
In order to enhance the water table, four lakes were constructed. All four lakes are now dried owing to below par rain. Water requirement is met through several borewells sunk in the zoo.
Also, the zoo authorities can draw water from Tungabhadra High-Level Canal. A project has been formulated to draw water from TB HLC to the zoo through the pipeline. The project, once realised, will only enhance the green cover in the zoological park.
More animals including leopards, hyena, crocs and bears from Ballari Zoo will be shifted to Atal Bihari Vajpayee zoological park in phases. The shifting process will be completed in a year or two, according to zoo sources.