Borivali's Sanjay Gandhi National Park had earlier kept the tigers in cages since their enclosures were being repaired; the six tigers are now being periodically released for the safari
Tourists going to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) will now get to witness tigers roaming freely in the forest as the authorities have decided to release the big cats into a 50 acre enclosure.
Currently, the tigers are being released on rotational basis with one tiger being let out every day. Pic/AFP
An official from SGNP said, “Earlier, the tigers were not released in the tiger safari enclosure area, as it was being repaired. We have now started releasing them in the enclosures so that people can enjoy the sight of them in the forest.” At present, the tigers are being released on rotational basis with one tiger being let out every day.
A December 11 report in mid-day (Are tigers back in cages at Sanjay Gandhi National Park?) had pointed out how the tigers were being kept locked up inside the cages, instead of being left out in the enclosure. Certain tourists were also unhappy finding the animals inside a cage during the tiger safari.
They had also alleged that showing these animals inside secondary cages gave the feeling of a zoo.
A Forest Department official said, “When we release the tigers in the safari enclosure, there are occasions when it is not spotted, as they sometimes go and sleep in the bushes. On such occasions, people argue with us saying that why should they pay (for the safari) when they did not see a tiger. We have to face criticism from the public either way.”
The per ticket cost of SGNP’s tiger safari. Tickets for children are priced at Rs 21.
The number of tigers in SGNP, of which five are Royal Bengal tigers and one is a White Bengal tiger.