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UT ADMINISTRATOR V P Singh Badnore has mooted a proposal for setting up a lion safari on the lines of Singapore Night Safari in Chandigarh. He has directed the Chandigarh Administration to look into the details of implementation of the project. Sources said he also discussed the matter with the officials of the Punjab wildlife department during his visit to the Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park at Chhatbir recently.
Confirming the development, M P Singh, principal secretary to Badnore, said, “Yes it one of his ideas for the City Beautiful. He has also asked the UT officials and the officials of the forest department to look into the details of how the project can be implemented in the city and to find a suitable place for the same.” He added that the Administrator had told the forest department officials that if need be they can visit the Singapore Night Safari to study the model and get more insights for the project.
Punjab Wildlife Department is also ready with a proposal to set up such a safari. A large chunk of forest land is available at Chhatbir for this purpose, sources said. Officials, however, pointed out that they do not have sufficient funds to set up a safari on the lines of the one in Singapore, which is popular the world over. The Chhatbir Zoo has a lion safari but it is not that attractive due to the decline in the lion population.
A safari on the lines of the one in Singapore is being set up in China, said a senior official of the wildlife department. In Singapore safari, there are Asian lions, Asian elephants, Malayan tigers, Malayan Tapirs, fishing cats and many other endangered species. Wildlife department officials said the Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh governments were also attempting to set up Singapore-type safari in their respective states. The UP Government is keen to set it up near Noida. The UP government has engaged a consultancy for preparing a blueprint.
Walking paths for zoo visitors
The Punjab wildlife department has started work for providing walk-in pathways along the enclosures of birds. Chief Wildlife Warden Dhirendra Singh said, “The purpose is to provide a more realistic experience to the visitors at the zoo. We have started implementing the pathways project and will complete it by March next year”. He added that the entire effort was focused on further expanding the zoo by adding more birds and animals in a phased manner. The zoo has already brought an otter, a white peacock, Chow-Singha and Indian Tortoise from the Surat zoo in Gujarat.