By G.S. Srinivas
Tumkur: The Thimmalapura State Reserve, between Madhugiri and Koratagere, will likely be declared a Sloth Bear Sanctuary.
The State Wildlife Board, headed by Chief Minster Siddaramaiah, has reportedly given in-principle approval for the proposal.
The board has also constituted a seven-member committee headed by additional chief secretary of the Forest, Ecology and Environment Department to study the proposal of the Tumkur Forest Department before giving the final nod.
The area is mentioned in the British archaeologist Benjamin Lewis Rice’s Gazetteer of Mysore as one of the ancient forests, then known as Maddagiri State Forests.
The British, who loved hunting, frequented the Inspection Bungalow here. The forest is spread across 3,047.07 hectares.
The proposal also mentions the findings from a census carried out by the Wildlife Awareness Nature Club in 2002 which states that the area is inhabited by more than 164 bears and that the number may have increased by now.
“The bear-human conflict in the area is next only to Bellary’s Daroji Bear Sanctuary. Bears can be sighted in the area, especially in the early morning and evening hours,” said wildlife activist T.V.N. Murthy.
Deputy Conservator of Forests Amarnath said the proposal was sent to the government, but no official information had been conveyed to him on the approval.