To visit Mi­zo­ram tiger re­serve, book your tick­ets to UP

Hindustan Times (Patna) - - FRONT PAGE - Rahul Kar­makar ■ rahul.kar­makar@hin­dus­tan­times.com

GUWAHATI: A re­serve in Mi­zo­ram for tigers of Bangladesh has strate­gi­cally shifted north to be ser­viced by Delhi government buses and by air from Lucknow.

Sounds con­fus­ing? Not if you go by some travel web­sites.

Dampa Tiger Re­serve is in Mi­zo­ram’s Mamit district. This 550 sq km low-den­sity tiger habi­tat 127 km west of state cap­i­tal Aizawl has a 62 km core area kiss­ing the Bangladesh bor­der. It was es­tab­lished in 1985 for tres­pass­ing tigers – res­i­dents of ad­join­ing Chit­tagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh for­ay­ing oc­ca­sion­ally into In­dia for prey. Some tigers have be­gun to stay back. In 2010, Dampa had an es­ti­mated five tigers. Ear­lier this year, DNA anal­y­sis of fae­ces pointed to the pres­ence of three tigers.

“This is be­cause forests in Bangladesh have un­der­gone degra­da­tion while the prey base in Dampa has in­creased due to bet­ter con­ser­va­tion,” Mi­zo­ram’s chief wildlife war­den Lalt­lanhlua said.

But while the tigers have taken a lik­ing to Dampa, web­sites map­ping pro­tected ar­eas for wildlife pack­ages have vir­tu­ally taken the tiger re­serve out of Mi­zo­ram.

One such site, www.wildlifetrips.in, has po­si­tioned Dampa only 4km from near­est rail­way sta­tion Dud­hwa in UP. The ‘place’ is eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble from near­est air­port Lucknow and en­joys reg­u­lar pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor buses from New Delhi. Dampa also of­fers ac­com­mo­da­tion in huts of Tharu — a north In­dian tribe liv­ing near jun­gles — peo­ple, ac­cord­ing to the site and oth­ers.

HT FILE

Es­tab­lished in 1985 for tres­pass­ing tigers, this 550 sq km low-den­sity tiger habi­tat near Aizwal has a 62-km core area kiss­ing the Bangladesh bor­der.

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