With a sharp fall in the number of tourists’ arrival in Sauraha, tourism entrepreneurs here are set to manage tuskers from one single point
With tourist activities with elephants coming to a halt following lockdown and restrictions enforced to contain the coronavirus transmission, tourism entrepreneurs here are set to manage tuskers from one single point.
The management of elephants will be carried out as per cooperative concept. There are around 70 elephants in Sauraha area while the count is 100 at Chitwan National Park covering Chitwan and Nawalparasi forests, hotel entrepreneurs said.
It has been hard to keep the elephants with a sharp fall in the number of tourists’ arrival in Sauraha of late for elephant riding. Some 10 tuskers, brought from India on rent, have also been returned with no business in sight.
According to chairperson of United Elephant Cooperative Organization, Rishi Tiwari, the cooperative has been supporting entrepreneurs in booking elephants for tourism related business but it is now almost non-existent.
He further shared that the time has come to bring all elephants to the cooperative and allocate shares to interested members. “We are exploring five bigha land for the purpose”, he said, adding all the elephants would be managed from a point with land availability. The tourism entrepreneurs would be members of the cooperative.
Chairperson of Regional Hotel Association Deepak Bhattarai said the method was to be adopted to reduce costs involved in rearing the elephants.
It involves a cost over Rs 100,000 per month to manage an elephant. The entrepreneurs are paying monthly upto Rs 60,000 for rent. The elephants reared in Sauraha are being used to take tourists on jungle safaris in the local buffer zone community forests.