Enclosures for other wild animals too near Etawah Lion Safari: Minister

If everything goes according to plan, Uttar Pradesh will soon have its own version of the London's Longleat Safari Park. Lion Safari, the dream project of former Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, which will come up in his home district of Etawah, will become more attractive as the state government plans to develop enclosures for other wild animals such as elephants, tigers, cheetahs, zebras and swamp deer close to it.

Each enclosure will be spread over 50 hectares and will be surrounded by fencing with electronic tapes. Visitors will be able to drive through the parks in these enclosures.

Minister of state for zoos Shiv Pratap Yadav, with principal secretary, forests and environment, VN Garg and principal chief conservator of forests (wild life) Rupak Dey, visited London Zoo and Longleat Safari Park in England where such safaris are developed.

"I had submitted a report of the England tour to Akhilesh Yadav who has given the nod for developing the enclosures for more animals near the Lion Safari," he said.

The minister has also directed the forest department to prepare a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for setting up these enclosures and make an assessment of the estimated cost. The government will take additional land adjacent to the Lion Safari that is already coming up on 150 hectares at Rs 25 crore.

"The objective of the expansion is to make the project more attractive. Visitors would be able to see wild animals in different enclosures along with lions," he said.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (wild life) Rupak Dey said, "The department is working out a plan for expansion of the lion safari project by setting up enclosures."

Sources said that the Akhilesh government may dedicate Lion Safari to the public in January next year or before the announcement of the Lok Sabha elections.

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