Elephants in Sauraha (File Photo/Agency)
CHITWAN: Tourism entrepreneurs in Sauraha are set to manage the elephants from one point as touristic activities of tuskers have come to a halt due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The elephants’ management will now be carried out adopting the concept of cooperatives.
The entrepreneurs have been operating elephant-enabled tourism activities in Sauraha, a popular tourist destination in Chitwan.
Sauraha area has around 70 elephants while the count is 100 at Chitwan National Park covering Chitwan and Nawalparasi forests, according to hotel entrepreneurs in Chitwan.
Entrepreneurs are facing difficultly in keeping the tuskers with sharp fall in the number of tourists’ arrival in Sauraha of late for elephant riding.
As many as 10 tuskers, brought from India on rent, have been returned with no business in sight.
Chairperson of United Elephant Cooperative Organization, Rishi Tiwari said that the cooperative has been supporting the entrepreneurs in booking the elephants for tourism related business but it is almost non-existent.
He also stated that time has come to bring all elephants to the cooperative and allocate shares to the interested members.
According to him, they are exploring five bigha land for the purpose, adding that all the elephants would be managed from a point with land availability.
All tourism entrepreneurs would be the members of the cooperative.
Chairperson of Regional Hotel Association Deepak Bhattarai maintained that 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 entrepreneur are paying monthly up to Rs 60,000 in rent.