MANGALORE: The fourth elephant safari circuit was launched at Dandeli in Uttara Kananda district. Four elephants from Southern Karnataka elephant camps have been brought to Panasoli in Dandeli forest reserve, which is a part of the Dandeli Anashi Tiger reserve.
Rajesh and Chamundi have been brought from Nagaraholay elephant camp in Mysore district and elephants Kumaraswamy and Thunga will join by weekend.
Till now only Mysore, Nagarahole and Bandipur had elephant safaris. The elephant rides in Dr Shivarama Karanth Biological Park has been discontinued after elephants Prashanth and Durgaparameshwari were sent to Hunsur elephant camp. According to the conservator of forests Srinivasulu of the Dandeli Anashi Tiger Reserve (DATR): “We have plans to expand the wildlife safari circuit in Dandeli. Presently the wildlife safari is functioning successfully, inclusion of the elephant safari will add another dimension to the wildlife tourism in Uttara Kannada district.”
According to Forest Minister B Ramanatha Rai soon there will be expansion of forest related activities in DATR with an eye for sensitizing the wildlife enthusiasts on protection of wildlife and judicious use of forests without harming the wildlife and greenery.
The Forest and Tourism departments were aiming at the high value foreign tourists arriving in Goa to use the wildlife tourism in DATR. The Tourism Department officials have already announced the launch of Elephant Safari in DATR to various resorts, home stays and hotels in Dandeli and in neighbouring Goa. Tourism officials say that Dandeli is just 3 hours drive from Margao.
There are also plans to launch “interaction sessions” with elephants at the waterfront on lines with that of Sakrebail in Shimoga where tourists take part in bathing the elephants just for the fun under the watchful eyes of experienced Mahouts and Kavadis.