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22-km safari rides planned at Daroji bear sanctuary

Final approval awaited from B’luru; tariff and timings are yet to be finalised

Published: 19th July 2017 03:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th July 2017 09:10 AM   |  A+A-

Daroji is the only place in India which has protected areas for sloth bears | Express

Express News Service

HUBBALLI: Soon, visitors to Daroji sloth bear sanctuary will have a chance to see bears from close range as the Forest Department is all set to introduce safari rides.
A 22-km-long safari ride has been planned and the vehicles will be operated by the Jungle Lodges and Resorts Ltd.

A sloth bear at Daroji | Express

A senior official told Express that there is a proposal for four jeeps and two buses for safari rides at Daroji sanctuary. The rides will be conducted towards the evening hours and depending on the demand, it will be conducted during morning as well, the official said.
Located in Ballari district, Daroji is the only place in India which has protected areas for sloth bears. The other mammal fauna of this sanctuary include leopards, jackal, boars and jungle cats. During monsoons,

sighting of star tortoise is common here.
“Currently, tourists are taken upto a point from where sloth bears can be viewed. The pargola where the tourists are made to wait is also far from the rocks where bears usually roam. As the bears are nocturnal in nature, they start coming out of their dens during evening hours. The safari vehicles will take the visitors along with expert narraters,” the official noted.
Pompayya Malemath, a wildlife photographer from Hosapete, said it’s a welcome move and tourists will be happy to go for safari rides. “There has been a demand for safari for many years. There are many interested photographers and visitors, who come here from far off cities only to see sloth bears and other animals of drier forests,” he said.

A forest official of Ballari said the division was awaiting final approval from the office of PCCF (Wildlife) in Bengaluru. “The safari plans are in place except for tariff and timings, which will be finalised soon,” he said.

New towers at otter reserve

The otter conservation reserve, located on the banks of River Tungabhadra in Ballari and Koppal districts, will soon have new watch towers.According to the forest officials, the watch towers will be used for both tourism and protection purposes. “There have been instances where fishermen trying to stone the otters or villagers trying to chase them as they eat fish. Such incidents could be controlled once new towers are in place,” the official said.



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