Come next month, the Bengal Safari: North Bengal Wild Animal Park near Siliguri is all set to have a ‘Leopard Safari.’ According to state forest minister Binay Krishna Barman, the safari will be introduced with two leopards, and that the infrastructure development for the plan is underway.
“The construction work for the leopard safari is on the verge of completion, and we will introduce the safari with two leopards very soon. We are trying to introduce the safari before the Bengali New Year (that falls on 15 April).
There is no need to bring leopards from outside as there are enough leopards in north Bengal,” Mr Barman said here on Wednesday. Forest officials said the safari will be had on 20 hectares of land.
The park already has a herbivore safari with a rhino, deer and sambar, the elephant safari, the tiger safari with Royal Bengal Tigers, and the Himalayan black bear safari.
Mr Barman further said cameras installed at different locations in the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary have captured images of endangered and rare wildlife species.
“More cameras would be installed in the core forest areas to study and observe the different wildlife species, including tigers,” he said. Mr Barman laid the foundation stone for the construction of a four-storey administrative building of the forest department that will house 10 forest offices on 5 acres of land at Jabrabhita near NJP in Siliguri on Wednesday.
“Efforts were being made to have such a building here since 2009. But due to financial reasons, the plan could not kick off. With Rs 6 crore 20 lakh provided by the Japan International Cooperative Society, the construction of the building will be started in the first phase.
Many forest officers are there in Siliguri at different locations, and some of them are in rented buildings. All those offices will be in the same building once it is complete,” the minister said.
The proposed building will house offices of the Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, North Bengal; Chief Conservator of Forest, Wildlife, North Circle; Conservator of Forest (CF), North West Circle; CF, Soil Conservation, North Circle; Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of Baikunthapur Forest Division; DFO, Monitoring, North Division; DFO, Silviculture, North Division; DFO, Parks & Gardens, North Division; DFO, Siliguri Social Forestry Division, and DFO, Non-Timber Forest Produce Division. Wednesday
Meanwhile, a glaring error was spotted on the board that was put for Wednesday’s programme at the site of the building construction. The board that mentioned the day’s event said it was being held on ’28 April,’ instead of 28 March.