Nandankanan Zoological Park plan to acquire around 600 hectares belonging to the Chandaka-Dampara sanctuary to set up animal safaris and bolster ecotourism.
Nandankanan, which has a zoo and a botanic garden, used to be part of the Chandaka-Damp-ara sanctuary before being declared a separate sanctuary in 1979.
Zoo director Sisir Kum-ar Acharya said a proposal would be sent to the forest department shortly. “The sanctuary is spread over 437 hectares, and we will submit a proposal to include the Chudanga reserve forest, which has an area of more than 600 hectares. With the merger, the Nandankanan sanctuary will be of around 1,000 hectares to be used to develop animal safaris,” said Acharya.
The Barang-Pitapali road separates the zoo and the nearby Chudanga reserve forest of the Chandaka-Dampara sanctuary. Forest department officials said the merger would also bolster the ecotourism potential of the Chandaka-Dampara wildlife sanctuary.