Jungle safari stopped inside Bengal's Buxa Forest for 10 days

Jungle safari stopped inside Bengals Buxa Forest for 10 days

Kolkata: The West Bengal Forest Department has stopped jungle safari inside the Buxa Forest in Alipurduar district for 10 days from Sunday, after purported images of a Royal Bengal Tiger was captured on camera, officials said.

Forest Minister Jyotipriyo Mallick said while bookings of tourists to the forest and its outer ranges will not be cancelled, the elephant safari and jeep rides inside deeper areas will not be allowed for 10 days.

"We have to ensure the safety of the tourists Our personnel from the Sunderban Tiger Reserve will reach the area for inspection on Monday and confirm if it is a Royal Bengal Tiger, and where it came from. In all probability, it is a tiger as far as the images and pugmarks suggest," he said.

Mallick said it was also being investigated if the animal came from neighbouring Assam through a jungle corridor.

The minister said the state was planning to bring 20 tigers from Assam to Buxa where the existence of big cats was always a possibility, but was not spotted in the past two decades.

A tiger was last spotted in Buxa Forest in 1998.

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