Holidaymakers planning a trip to India this winter could once again catch a glimpse of tigers in their natural habitat in the wake of a call for the partial lifting of the ban.
Earlier this year the Supreme Court stated more should be done to protect the endangered tiger population and banned access in core areas of tiger reserve forests.
But the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NCTA) and the Ministry of Environment and Forests have called for the ban to be partially lifted, with proposals for 20% of the core tiger habitat to be made accessible for low-impact tourist visits.
India is home to around half of the world's tiger population and conservationists believe that an amendment to the initial ruling could strike a balance between protecting the tiger and promoting eco-tourism.
A spokesman for the NCTA said: "Conservation of the tiger, our national animal, is the paramount objective of tiger reserves and generating public support through regulated tourism is an invaluable tool for harnessing public and community support for tiger conservation.
"Regulated tourism results in enhanced awareness and is of educational value especially for the younger generation."
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