Jamshedpur : A mild breeze ruffled the trees surrounding the field at Dimna as tourists flock the dense forests. The presence of over 150 elephants coupled with favourable climatic conditions, are bringing back wildlife enthusiasts to the sanctuary.
The forest department, keen to cash in on this trend, has made adequate arrangements to ensure tourists spend quality time with their family and friends here. “Following the elephant-man clash in the sanctuary early this month, we had temporarily closed entry of the tourists to the hilltop for a few days.
During that period, we put up adequate arrangements, both security and hospitality, and reopened the sanctuary for tourism purpose,” said Mangal Kachap, Dalma forest ranger.
Notably Dalma is the best elephant habitat of Jharkhand, where the pachyderms love to spend their summer. Dalma used to be pleasing with temperatures less than 30 degrees C. But due to rising mercury over the years the elephants started migration to green pastures.
The availability of water during summer is all the more alluring for the elephants to migrate. There are over 150 elephants in the Dalma sanctuary.
The elephants often have the tendency to go into agricultural fields adjoining the sanctuary in search of food. The forest department has made arrangements to keep them anchored in Dalma, by providing water and greenery.
The measures taken by the forest department include availability of adequate water holes, salt licks and sufficient food for the tuskers. But these are not enough for all the elephants residing in the area.
Herds of elephants that have arrived in the Dalma sanctuary from Bengal and Odisha are likely to spend considerable time here. “We are taking utmost care of the elephants so that they spend some time on the hilltop,” the ranger added.
Makulakocha, with a museum-cum-interpretation centre, bamboo hut, a basic forest resthouse and a deer rescue centre, marks the entrance of the wildlife sanctuary.
The forest department has deployed about 40 guides at the identified tourist hotspots across the 98sqkm sanctuary. “We have employed the local village youths as tourist guides for a daily wage of Rs 160 each.
Besides, the tourists also pay them handsomely for showing them around as a goodwill gesture,” said a Dalma range forest officer.