KARNATAKA

Proposal for elephant conservation park

The Bandipur National Park has a high density of elephants  

Shankar Bennur



Where rescued jumbos can be treated scientifically



MYSORE: If everything goes according to the plan of the Forest Department, the country’s first elephant conservation park, on the lines of Thailand’s Maesa Elephant Camp at Chiang Mai, is likely to take shape near Bandipur National Park. The idea is to establish a conservation-cum-rehabilitation camp for elephants that also attracts visitors.

The department has come up with this ambitious proposal to safeguard abandoned, sick, injured and seized elephants, besides giving much-needed rejuvenation to reared elephants.

Concept

“The concept is to ensure that the rescued elephants are treated scientifically and taken care of under the supervision of experts before releasing them into the wild. In total, the vision is conservation of elephants in the forest surroundings,” sources in the department told The Hindu.

Incidentally, Bandipur has the highest density of elephant population in Asia.

With wildlife enthusiasts frequenting Bandipur National Park, opening up the proposed park for visitors is in consideration as it would generate revenue for its sustenance. “Moreover, it could be educative for people to learn the methods of rehabilitation of elephants in natural settings,” sources said.

One of the reasons for considering Bandipur for developing the park is because of its proximity to Mysore and Ooty in Tamil Nadu, which are popular tourist destinations.