Pilikula literally means Tiger-lake. In Tulu language “Pili” means tiger and “kula” means lake and thus the name was derived. It is known that in olden days, tigers used to come to the lake to drink water. Hence, this lake came to be known as Pilikula.
Today it has become Pilikula Nisargadhama, a wildlife sanctuary where the tigers play around caged in a man-made lake.
Considered a “man-eater”, the tiger was long believed to be an enemy that must be killed. Firearms used for commercial tiger hunting, as well as poison bait aimed at protecting livestock, opened the way for a genuine carnage. Tigers were also poached for the supposed medical benefits of their organs.
Rampant population growth in India has greatly reduced the range the tiger needs to survive. Agriculture and road construction have fragmented its territory and reduced the availability of prey. Comparatively the tiger range today is 20 times smaller since the 20th century.
But the Pilikula Nisargadhama tries its level best to nurture these wild cats. The zoo cherishes the Tiger and tries to create awareness among the people with regards to the wild animals particularly the tigers. The zoo has been maintained as per the standards over the time and prominent days such as the International Tiger Day is observed here to create awareness among people.
Last year, the Pilikula Biological Park had organized an essay writing and collage competition on the theme “Importance and necessity of Tiger Day” for school and college students. Similarly, many other initiatives have also been made by the Park.
Speaking to NewsKarnataka, Vikram Lobo, Scientific Officer of the Pilikula Nisargadhama said, “There are nine Bengal tigers in the park that are segregated according to grouping and solitary. The park intends to create awareness among the children and visitors of the park on the need to conserve tigers.”
Accordingly, he also said that Tigers can be adopted and people who loved these big cats have adopted them.
Tiger habitat once covered a huge swath of grassland and riverine and moist semi-deciduous forests along the major river system of the Gangetic and Brahmaputra plains, which have now been largely converted to agriculture or severely degraded.
Pointing out the above fact, Vikram Lobo said, “Creating a habitat for these animals is very important and we try our level best to do so.”
The Mangalore City Corporation also has developed this area keeping in mind the tourism potential and it has now become the hot spot for people who are looking for scenic beauty and peace.