The first ever hornbill festival in Tripura began on Saturday with an objective to raise awareness among people for conservation of the bird and to showcase biodiversity in the state.
Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb inaugurated the two- day festival at Barmura Eco park, an abode of the 'oriental pied hornbills' in West Tripura district, about 40 km from here.
Deb, in his inaugural speech, said many tourists including foreigners will visit the park as a new conservation centre for hornbills are being built in it.
"If tourists come, local people will be benefited and everyone will be more attentive to protect nature", he said.
State's chief wildlife warden D K Sharma said the festival focuses on conservation of hornbills and showcasing of biodiversity in the state.
Sub-divisional forest officer Krishna Gopal Roy said, "There are three villages - Khawibari, Hodrai and Narayanbari- near the eco-park and people of these villages have been helping conservation of hornbills. They care for the birds and allow them to eat papaya and banana from their trees."
A recent survey, conducted by a government body, found that there are nests of hornbills in at least 60 trees in the area, he said.
"So we have also decided to plant more trees in vicinity of the eco-park and around the villages," Roy added.
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