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Snake park in Uttarakhand (27th Jan 2016) : The Uttarakhand government is planning to set up north India’s first Snake Park in Kumaon region to help conserve rare species of the limbless reptiles and give boost to wildlife tourism in the state, chief wildlife warden, Uttrakhand said on Sunday (24th January, 2016). The country already has four snake parks and the proposed one will showcase 35-odd varieties of snake, he said. One Bannerghatta Snake Park is located near bangaluru, Guindy Snake Park is in Chennai, Prassinikkadavu Snake Park in Kerala and Katraj Snake Park in Pune.

The proposed park might come up at Uttarakhand’s small tourist spot (in Almora), which is accessible to domestic and foreign tourists as it is only about 250 km from Dehradun and 293 km from Delhi. A draft to this effect is being prepared by the experts. This will be sent to the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) for its clearance. However, the forest department will approach the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) for funds. Earlier in 2015, a proposal to establishing a Butterfly Parks in Kumaon (Nainital) and Garhwal (Dehradun), a Reptile Park in Dehradun and a Gharial Park in Corbett Tiger Reserve had been mooted during a meeting of the State Board for Wildlife. Officials said they too would fetch tourism revenue once they were completed.

According to the figures, the hill state is home to at least 35 species of snakes which include king cobras, vipers, common kraits and others. However, the officials said initially, about 20 snake species would be kept in natural captive areas in the proposed park. The department is readying a proposal that will include details of the covered areas, enclosures and their management and planning.

“Once the CZA gives its permission to establishing the park, we will provide funds. But, the proposal is still being prepared,” CAMPA CEO said. As per one NGO, such efforts are extremely important and the steps will boost the tourism.

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 The Char Dhams of Uttarakhand