Totally Wild: All about the world’s largest safari park coming up in Gurugram

Covering an area of 10,000 acres, the safari park in Gurugram will be five times the size of the current largest, Sharjah Safari in the United Arab Emirates which spans an area of about 2,000 acres. It will be a good place to spot leopards and hyenas

FP Explainers September 30, 2022 11:48:14 IST
Totally Wild: All about the world’s largest safari park coming up in Gurugram

Covering an area of 10,000 acres, the safari park in Gurugram will be five times more the size of the current largest Sharjah Safari in United Arab Emirates. PTI

Indians no longer need to visit Africa to get a taste of the wild as the Haryana state government will develop the world’s largest jungle safari park in Gurugram.

According to a statement released by the state government, the safari park will cover 10,000-acres of land in the Gurugram and Nuh districts. “This project will be the largest such project in the world,” it said.

The park will come up on land protected under the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA) around the Aravalli Mountain Range.

Let’s take a closer look at the details of the park.

Features of the park

Covering an area of 10,000 acres, the safari park in Gurugram will be five times the size of the current largest Sharjah Safari in United Arab Emirates which spans an area of about 2,000 acres.

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The state government statement says that the park will include a large herpetarium (a zoological exhibition space for reptiles and amphibians), aviary or bird park, four zones for big cats, a large area for herbivores, an area for exotic animal birds, an underwater world, nature trails, visitors, tourism zones, botanical gardens, biomes, equatorial, tropical, coastal and desert.

According to a report by Hindustan Times, the safari park will be home to species like gazelles, antelopes, deer and carnivores like leopards and hyenas, which are already native to the region.

Totally Wild All about the worlds largest safari park coming up in Gurugram

Graphic: Pranay Bharadwaj

The onus of steering the project has been given to SP Yadav, additional director general of forests at the Union Environment Ministry. Haryana tourism officials informed that drone imaging of the Gurugram portion of the project has been completed. The process of demarcation of the area of both Gurugram and Nuh districts would soon begin.

Chief Minister of Haryana, Manohar Lal Khattar said, “The Jungle safari project of Haryana would be a joint project of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the Haryana government. Under the scheme, the central government will also provide funds to Haryana for the project”.

A global Expression of Interest was floated for the project and two companies with international experience in designing and operating such facilities have been shortlisted, according to a PTI report.

Central Zoo Authority gives green signal

Central Zoo Authority (CZA) officials who had visited the sites proposed for the safari park noted that there is adequate land of appropriate quality and that there is scope for constructing tree belts which will act as a buffer against noise and air pollution.

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The CZA guidelines recommend that carnivore safaris should have a minimum area of 20 hectares while herbivore safaris should have 20 hectares of area, as per Hindustan Times.

Chief Minister Khattar said that CZA has agreed on the technical feasibility of setting up such a park after their evaluation of the area.

Safari Park will boost employment

Apart from giving wildlife lovers an opportunity to witness the life of animals up close, the state government claims that the Jungle safari scheme will provide employment opportunities to local residents in the region.

Khattar said, “On one hand, developing a jungle safari will help preserve the Aravalli Mountain range while a large number of people from Delhi and adjoining areas will come for tourism, creating ample employment opportunities for local residents.”

A senior government official told Hindustan Times that the Safari project, which will be the largest man-made safari park in the world will help conserve the biodiversity of the Aravalli hills.

According to the Haryana government statement, as per a survey conducted a few years ago, 180 species of birds, 15 species of mammals, 29 species of aquatic animals and reptiles and 57 species of butterflies were found in the Aravalli range.

Gurugram Safari park will beat Sharjah

Union Minister for Forest, Environment and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal made a two-day visit to UAE to assess the current largest safari park Sharjah, which was opened in February 2022.

Upon his return on Thursday, Khattar said the NCR region of Haryana had immense potential for the development of a jungle safari.

According to its official website, Sharjah Safari is host to more than 50,000 animals, birds, reptiles and mammals like lions, elephants, giraffes, black and white rhinoceros, crocodiles, deer, bulls and many other endangered animals.

The park has 12 themed environments and each of these depict an African location. The safari park is mirrored to an actual African jungle safari and the land has around 1,000 native and African trees, as per Curly Tales.

With inputs from agencies

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