World’s first black tiger safari coming up near Odisha’s Similipal

Bhubaneswar: Soon, visitors will have the opportunity to watch melanistic or black tigers in the wild near Odisha’s Similipal Tiger Reserve.

The state government is now setting up of an exclusive melanistic tiger safari near Similipal in Mayurbhanj district.

“Glad to announce that Odisha is setting up an exclusive Melanistic Tiger Safari near Similipal Tiger Reserve in Mayurbhanj. Tourists and visitors can now have a glimpse of the rare and majestic species found only in Odisha,” said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in a twitter (X) post today.

The black tiger safari will come up on around 200 hectares of land near Similipal. The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has given the required approval in this regard. The safari will be one-of-its-kind facility in the world, said Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Susanta Nanda.

“The project is likely to be dedicated to visitors in October this year. The Forest department will shift three melanistic or black tigers and two other big cats from Nandankanan Zoological Park in Bhubaneswar to the safari near Similipal. The black tigers born through captive breeding will be kept at the safari,” added the PCCF

Earlier, the Centre announced that melanistic or black tigers have been sighted only in Similipal in Odisha.

“Melanistic tigers have been recorded only in Similipal Tiger Reserve in Odisha. As per the 2022 cycle of the All India Tiger Estimation, a total of 16 tigers were recorded in Similipal, out of which 10 were melanistic,” said Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ashwini Kumar Choubey in Rajya Sabha.

The minister made this revelation while replying to a query of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP Prashanta Nanda during the last Winter Session of Parliament.

Based on genetic composition, the Similipal Tiger Reserve has been identified as a distinct genetic cluster for conservation, added the minister.

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