After the Bengal safari park in Siliguri, people living in north Bengal may soon have a chance to visit a leopard safari park here in South Khairbari Tiger Rescue Center under the Jaldapara National Park in Alipurduar district as the state forest department has sent a proposal to the central ministry of environment and forest for establishment of a leopard safari project worth Rs 10 cores here in the park.

“We will start work on the leopard safari project as soon as we receive an approval from the central ministry of the environment and forest on the proposal we sent them” said state forest minister, Binoy Krishna Barman.

“Leopards can climb trees and that is why special enclosures are needed to be constructed in the leopard safari,” added Mr Barman.

Meanwhile, members of the West Bengal Zoo Authority have paid a visit to the centre last month regarding establishment of the safari park. It is learnt that tigers rescued from circuses in the state were rehabilitated in the rescue centre situated under the Jaldapara National Park which was established in the year 2003. A number of leopards which were rescued from different parts of north Bengal were also sent to the rescue center for rehabilitation.

At present there are a total of nine leopards and one Royal Bengal tiger in the rescue center.

Member Secretary, West Bengal Zoo Authority, V.K.Yadav said, “A proposal for establishing of a leopard safari in South Khayerbari Tiger Rescue Center was also sent to the National Zoo Authority. We are waiting for their nod.”

“The Leopard Safari in South Khayerbari Tiger Rescue Center will boom tourism in Dooars. We thank the state forest department for taking such radical step for development of tourism in the area,” said the president, Dooars Tourism Forum, Partha Sarathi Roy.