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Bus safari flagged off at Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary

Bus safari flagged off at Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary
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Darjeeling: After the immense success of the Bengal Safari Park, a bus safari was flagged off at the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary at Sukna on Friday. Along with this captive bred Kaleej pheasants and red jungle fowl were released in the sanctuary.

"Safaris at Jaldapara, Gorumara and Buxa are extremely popular. Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary is a bio diverse hotspot. It is popular amongst the local residents and the tourists alike. Siliguri is a tourist hub. The safari will emerge as a new tourist attraction," stated Vinod Yadav, PCCF, Wildlife.

Yadav flagged off the bus safari from the Sukna Natural Interpretation Center, 13 km away from Siliguri. The 28 seater bus will carry 14 passengers at present in order to maintain physical distancing in the Covid-19 times.

There will be five trips daily starting from 6:15am till 4:30pm. "The ride will be of near one hour duration and will including a 20 minute break at the watch tower. The ride will cost Rs. 300 per person that will include entry fees, ride charges and guide charges," stated Rajendra Jakhar, CCF (North Bengal.)

Tickets for the safari will be available online as well as from a counter at the Natural Interpretation Centre at Sukna from where the safari will commence. Visitors will get to see elephants, bisons, deer, leopards and birds including peacocks and hornbills.

The PCCF also released 5 Kaleej pheasants and 10 red jungle fowls. "This is part of the project "Back to the Wild." The birds were bred in the captive breeding centre at Dowhill in Kurseong and have been released here in the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary" stated Yadav.

He stated that North Bengal is a biodiversity hotspot. "There are 1200 species of birds found in India out of which Bengal has 850 species and North Bengal 650 species" added Yadav.

Every year a bird festival is organized at Buxa from 6th January to 9th January. "A similar bird festival will also be held this year in Latpanchar in the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary," stated the PCCF.

The Mahananda Wildlife sanctuary is spread over 159 square km in the foothills of the Himalayas between the Teesta and Mahananda rivers. It was accorded the status of wildlife sanctuary in 1959.

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