Night safari has always been on a tourist’s places-to-explore list. However, not anymore. The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has asked the Madhya Pradesh government to put a stop to night safaris in tiger reserves. As per the media reports, the NTCA wrote a letter to the state forest department to stop the night safaris as it causes trouble to the wildlife.
According to media reports, NTCA says that night safari causes noise in the wildlife area. The animals are awakened by the lights of the vehicles. These put the animals under stress as they are used to the natural light.
However, the MP forest department did not agree with the decision. Instead, they came up with an explanation as to how this night safari helped in boosting tourism in the region and the night safari was not carried out in the core areas but in buffer, non-harmful zones.
These safari rides follow the government’s ‘buffer mein saffer’ initiative. The main aim is to reduce the pressure on the core areas by promoting buffer zones. Under this scheme, the night safari is conducted from 7 pm to 9 pm or 10 pm. Along with this, only a limited number of vehicles have been assigned to carry out night safari and only in the allotted buffer area.
The night safari was started in 2021 in three national parks – Bandhavgarh National Park, Kanha National Park and Pench National Park. Tourists were in to see beautiful animals on a quiet night. For wildlife enthusiasts, this night safari was a treat. People were able to witness the majestic animals in their own natural habitat. The routes of the night safari were done in a way which did not harm the animals or the visitors.
According to media reports, a senior officer said,” The night safari is more of a late evening safari, it hardly makes any difference. We are averse to NTCA’s order for the ban.”
In 2021, NTCA passed an order to close tourism activities in tiger reserves, national parks and sanctuaries. This was passed due to the death of a lioness in Chennai’s zoo due to the coronavirus infection.