Jaipur: The ban imposed on elephant safari in Elephant Village (Hathi Gaon) in Jaipur has been lifted by the state archaeological department. The ban was imposed on March 17 following the lockdown in the wake of COVID-19 spread.
Over 1000 families who earned their bread and butter by taking tourists on elephant safari had gone unemployed with the ban. They had been demanding that the safari be resumed since the lockdown was withdrawn. The department officials said that the mahout will need to follow social distancing and other guidelines to ensure safety of the tourists.
There are 96 elephants in Hathi Gaon near Amer Fort in Jaipur. Only 50% of them in rotation will be allowed to take tourists on a safari. The first lot of 50 elephants was seen at Amer Elephant Stand. One of the elephants had ‘I am back’ written on its forehead.
Two women tourists from Ahemdabad were first to go on elephant ride. Their hands were offered garlands. Their hands were sanitized and they were allowed to mount the elephant after passing a thermal screening test.
“Mahouts have been asked to strictly follow COVID-19 guidelines. They will need to sanitize elephant stands after each ride. It will be their responsibility to ensure that the tourists follow social distancing guidelines. Their hands are sanitized properly,” said an officer.
The mahouts distributed sweets to celebrate the occasion.