Amitabh Bachchan made his debut as the state’s tiger ambassador on Tuesday at the ongoing wildlife week celebrations at Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in Borivali.

Bachchan had reached a few hours prior to the programme to explore the national park with senior SGNP officials. He lauded the rich biodiversity of the urban forest and asked citizens to pitch in for its conservation.

The Bollywood superstar also released a book that contained the pictures of 345 leopards that were found during the recent camera trapping study at SGNP.

The superstar said, “I have been staying in Mumbai from so many years, but after visiting this place today I realised we have such a rich and beautiful forest within our city. We should all come together for the conservation of not only this forest, but we should all work together towards saving others that we have in our state."

Pic/Nimesh Dave

More than one thousand people including school children took part in the function, and they were happy to see the superstar.

While the programme was well organised, activists and some environmentalist who were present during the event were not happy with the use of loudspeakers and the drums that were played during the programme."

“The organisers should understand that the programme was not taking place in a auditorium, but in the tourism zone of national park and I feel use of loudspeakers and the traditional drums not only caused noise pollution, but it is against law to do so in a national park,” said an environmentalist, who did not wished to be named.

He went on to add, “Usually entry to people inside the park is restricted post 6 pm, but the event went on till 7.30 pm, causing a lot of noise pollution. The national park is also a silence zone and they should have avoided making noise.”

Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam and other senior officials from the state forest and environment department were present during the occasion.