Gates of the Bengal Safari Park – the only one of its kind in the state nestling on the outskirts of Siliguri – were opened for visitors on Friday, along with the other 12 zoological parks of the state.

This comes after the forest department had last week, made the decision to allow the resumption of visitors to zoos which had remained shut for over six months.

The department also took a series of health safety measures in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are taking all necessary health safety measures following the COVID-19 guidelines along with all our regulation routine works. We are sanitising all vehicles at the entry gates and then allowing visitors in the park by maintaining physical distance,” Badal Debnath, Director, Bengal Safari Park told ANI.

“We have resumed herbivore, tiger, leopard and beer safaris for the visitors. But we have not yet started elephant safari keeping in mind physical distance,” Debnath said.

The staff and others connected with the park are happy after reopening of the park and hope many will enjoy it.

Md Rafikul Alam, a visitor from Malda said, the authority is taking a good initiative to combat COVID-19 pandemic situation at their park.

“We are safe and enjoying nature. They are only allowing 12 passengers in a bus while it has 24 seats to maintain the physical distancing,” he added.

Jakiya Farahana Alam, another visitor said, “We were stuck in our home due to the pandemic, but now we can enjoy the beauty of nature here at Bengal Safari Park.”

Bengal Safari Park was set up over 700 acres of forest land inaugurated by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the year 2016. The park offers tiger safari, mixed herbivore safari, elephant safari, leopard safari and Asiatic black bear safari. It has an aviary trail, lesser cats trail, gharials and crocodile ponds too.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

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