(Last Updated on : 13/08/2014)
The Ratanmahal and Jessore Sloth Bear Sanctuary is an exclusive sanctuary for the preservation of the endangered species, Sloth Bear. The sanctuary is located on the Ratanmahal Hills of the Gujarat-Madhya Pradesh border, 230 metres above main sea level. It is only 45 kms away from Baria in Gujarat. The sanctuary covers an area of over 56 sq km, and is quite rich in its wildlife varieties. It was declared as a Wildlife sanctuary in the year 1978. Apart from the Sloth Bear, the sanctuary is also home to several other mammal and bird fauna species. The Panam River is flowing through the sanctuary and it also presents lush green and thick woods, which are full of natural goodness.
The natural vegetation in the Ratanmahal and Jessore Sloth Bear Sanctuary is rich with several types of plant species. The plant species have both medicinal and commercial values. The faunal collection of the sanctuary is also quite rich. Besides the Sloth Bear, the sanctuary provides natural habitat to the other mammal species like Panther, Large-Size Monkey, Langur, Jackal, Antelope, Hyenas, Sambhar, Nilgai, Leopard, Indian Gazelle, Wild Boar, etc. Apart from these, the other notable mammal species in the sanctuary include Jungle Cat, Fox, Honey Badger, Hare, Porcupine, etc. The sanctuary is also home to many reptile species. About 120 species of birds reside in the Ratanmahal and Jessore Sloth Bear Sanctuary, as well.
The months of October to March is considered the best time to visit the sanctuary, as the weather remains at its best during this period. The sanctuary is a favourite among the nature lovers, as it plays an important role in sustaining the green zone beyond the Desert region of Rajasthan, India. Several tourists from different parts of India and also from around the world visit the sanctuary, on a regular basis.