Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary
Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary, located at a distance of around 175 km from Hubli, may be reached in approximately 3 and a half hour by road. It is situated very close to the World heritage site, Hampi. The sanctuary has particularly been created to preserve the Indian Sloth Bear which is an endangered species. Sloth Bears mainly dwell in the area between Ramasagar in Hospet Taluk and Daroji in Sandur Taluk. Around 5,587.30 hectares of the Bilikallu reserve forest had been declared as the Daroji Bear Sanctuary by the Karnataka state government during the fall of 1994. Since then this has become a popular tourist spot for those wanting to catch a glimpse of the Indian Sloth Bear.
This variety of Bear is often referred to as Karadi by the natives here and Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary is more popular by the name, Karadi Dhama among them. The wildlife sanctuary is open 7 days a week and may be visited between 6 am and 6 pm by purchasing a nominally priced ticket. The best to visit the Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary is between August and April.
It is a safe abode for more than 100 Indian Sloth Bears and is said to be the Heaven for this rare species. The Sloth Beer lives in an open land covered with trees and different exotic plants here. Huge rocks, boulders and caves at the sanctuary serve as shelter for these animals. These bears relish vegetarian food and this place offers a wide variety of fruits. They may also have honey, termites and insects that are found in large quantity at Daroji. This variety of bear also enjoys maize crop, sugarcane, Mahuva (Madhuka latifolia) flowers and Ber fruits though these are not found in abundance here.
Indian Sloth Beer is usually found in playful mood and does not harm the visitors however the authorities here make sure that a professional guide accompanies you as you trail through the vast Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary. If you are lucky enough you may spot a bear climbing up a tree or running around playfully with his friends. They usually look for food at night and take rest during the day time. They drink water at least once a day. The sanctuary has been maintained well by the administration. Those deployed here make sure that the place is kept clean and that the bears live under hygienic conditions. The visitors are also welcomed with warmth and guided well.
Besides the Indian Sloth Bear the sanctuary also serves as a dwelling for various other wild animals including Hyena, Jackals, Leopards, Pangolins, Pea Fowls, Star Tortoise, Wild Boars, Monitor Lizard, Partridges, Porcupine, Painted Spur Hen, Quails and Mongoose. Those fond of bird watching may also drop by at this place. Around 90 species of tweeting birds visit here during different seasons. 27 species of rare butterflies may also be seen here.
To see the Sloth Bears, the visitors are required to sit in the watch tower set up on a hillock in the sanctuary and keep a watchful eye. This hillock encompasses a number of caves where these bears stay for most part.
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