Jodhpur: Rajasthan Forest and Environment Minister Bina Kak today said zoological parks are not the right place for animals as she announced state government`s plan to shift animals of Udaipur Zoo to Sajjangarh forest.
"They should be allowed to freely roam in the forests. The forests are their natural habitats and provide them the environment to live healthy, longer and breed naturally," Kak said here.
"With this in mind, we have planned to shift the animals of Udaipur zoo to the Sajjangarh forest", she said.
Kak said "though it is a policy matter and governments are to decide on it, it is my personal opinion that there should no zoos."
The state minister was in Jodhpur today to attend the 64th state level forest festival at Kaliberi forest division.
Expressing concern over the depleting forest cover in state from 33 per cent to a meagre 9 per cent, Kak said the government has accorded the much needed priority to the issue.
"Initiatives have been taken by the state government in this regard. We have succeeded in restoring forest cover on 5,100 hectare land in past 2 years, which is, however, just 0.1 per cent increase but an indication that the government is committed to grow the forest cover in the state," she said.
Chief minister Ashok Gehlot, who inaugurated the festival, also expressed concern over the unabated illicit tree felling in the state and said ten trees must be planted against each tree.
"Considering the seriousness of the issue, we have taken up different projects with the help of Japanese government to take up mass plantation drive and this has added to the forest cover of the state", Gehlot said.
He also attributed the Uttarakhand devastation to the indiscriminate tree felling in the region.