Coming soon: Leopards at Bannerghatta Park

A leopard safari is to come up on an area of 3.5 acres to attract more visitors

The much-delayed leopard safari is slated to begin soon at Bannerghatta National Park. Zoo Authority of Karnataka (ZAK) Chairman LR Mahadevaswamy who visited Bannerghatta Zoo on Wednesday inspected the area where the safari is to come up.

The safari is to come up at an area of 3.5 acres and the fencing work is currently under progress. He said that once the leopard safari was thrown open to the public, it would attract more visitors to the park. Currently, the safaris include that of lions, tigers and bears. Sources in ZAK said that the leopard safari work was delayed and has been progressing at a slow pace for the last two to three years.

It may take a few more months before the safari is ready for visitors. It is proposed that seven to eight leopards will be released initially in the safari area instead of all of them as it may result in fighting. “There are other challenges with leopard safari as the big cats tend to jump on trees and extra security features have to be put in place before the safari is thrown open to the public,” said an official.

New visitors

Meanwhile, Mahadevaswamy said that the Bannerghatta Zoo will have two more visitors in the form of a chimpanzee and a polar bear. Currently, the chimpanzee enclosure is being set up.

The Mysuru Zoo will soon get inmates in the form of an orangutan and a gorilla from the Malaysian Zoo. These animals will be brought to India under the animal exchange programme as Mysuru Zoo will be gifting giraffes to Malaysian zoos. Enclosures for these new primates will be constructed at a cost of Rs 3.7 crore. Mahadevaswamy said that the Central Zoo Authority

has permitted the construction of a high-tech hospital at a cost of Rs 7 crore in the Bannerghatta premises.


Ridleys lay eggs

After a long wait, the hatched eggs of Olive Ridley turtles were found at Kodi Beach in Kundapura on Wednesday night. Many of the volunteers were sleeping on the beach to protect these eggs and were waiting for them to hatch.

Though Olive Ridley turtles are seen on the coastal belt, they had not been seen since 2017, raising concerns among wildlife experts.

However, on January 22, local fishermen had spotted 88 eggs laid by these turtles. The Kodi beach in Kundapura had been cleaned up and as a result, the Olive Ridley turtles were back. To protect the eggs, fences were put up around them.

Dinesh Saranga, Chief Coordinator of FSL India, said that they were happy to see the eggs being hatched and that their efforts were paid off.

The egg-laying season for the turtles is between October and January and each turtle can lay anything from 100 to 160 eggs.

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Sagar Biswas

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