Good and bad news over city zoo
By Jisha Surya - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM
29th June 2012 08:20 AM
The city zoo is getting ready for a major revamp, with the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) approving the revised master plan for the zoo the other day. However, there is bad news for animal lovers. The CZA has shot down the city zoo authorities’ demand to bring new animals to the zoo.
The CZA decision has come as a huge disappointment to zoo authorities as well as visitors, who were waiting for the arrival of new giraffes and zebras at the zoo.
“The CZA demanded that 60 per cent of the area should remain as free space and only 40 per cent should have constructions. It rejected the demand to bring new animals to the zoo. Also, the CZA gave the instruction to either shift lone animals to other zoos or to bring pairs for them,” a zoo official told Express.
City zoo authorities were planning to bring zebras, giraffes and other animals as part of zoo modernisation. This plan has received a jolt following the CZA decision.
Also, as many as 31 zoo animals died in the past one year due to various reasons. Jackals and hyenas were wiped out owing to the spread of canine distemper virus. However, the zoo will not be able to replace the lost animals.
“We had a plan to include 8-10 new cages, which was disapproved by the CZA. The Authority is opposing all new constructions on the premises,” said the official.
Meanwhile, other suggestions in the master plan such as arrangement of animals on thematic basis, establishment of a facility centre, waste-recycling plant, zoo souvenir shops etc have got approval.
“Now, the animals are arranged on taxonomical basis. After the revamp, the ‘Western Ghats zone’ will be the first to welcome the visitors. There will be an ‘Exotic bird zone’ next to it. This will be followed by the ‘African zone’ consisting of Hippopotamus, African Cape Buffalo, Zebra etc,” he said.
The CZA has proposed more green belts within the zoo premises. The Authority, in a move to conserve the species, has asked the zoo authorities to shift animals such as Nilgai and Malabar giant squirrel to other zoos or to bring their mates to the zoo.
The zoo, one of the oldest in the country, is situated on 35 acres of land in the heart of the city. However, it is smaller compared to other zoos in the country. The CZA has informed that new animals could be brought only if the zoo gets more land.
Though the master plan was approved in a meeting held in New Delhi last Friday, the zoo authorities are yet to receive a notification in this regard.
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