Monday, June 21, 2010

Zoo to get facelift before Commonwealth Games.

Shera — mascot of the XIX Commonwealth Games 2010 — is all set for special treatment at the National Zoological Park in the Capital during the Games.

With an eye to attract tourists who will visit Delhi during the Games, zoo authorities have started construction of a waterfall at tiger’s enclosure. Apart from this, work for facelifting of the front gate, construction of a souvenir shop and other facilities for visitors will start soon. “We have chosen tiger’s enclosure for the waterfall programme as the Mascot of Games is Tiger (Shera). We have also started beautification work to attract more tourists,” said Anand Krishna, Joint Director of National Zoological Park.

At present, the spring at tiger enclosure is constructed in half of the area but to give it a better look, it will be spread to the whole enclosure. The water will flow from artificial spring to the moat of the enclosure and will again circulate to the artificial spring. “The waterfall will be joined with a small channel to make it more attractive. It will be nice even for the tigers as they love to be in water,” said Krishna.

The modernisation work has already started on the zoo premises and in the area of administrative office of the zoo, a three-foot deep pond will be constructed which will have fishes, lotus and water fountain. Signages will be put on the zoo premises and work to renovate and paint the animals’ enclosures has already started. “Under the major refurbishment plan, the main gate of the zoo will be renovated with Mangalore tiles using latest designs. On one side of the main gate, the cloak room will be constructed and on the other side, a souvenir shop and an ATM facility of Union Bank of India will be installed,” said Anand Krishna, Joint Director of National Zoological Park, Delhi.

Delhi Zoo is one of the oldest zoological parks in the country. It will be one of the tourists’ attractions in the city looking for a break during the 10-day mega sports event beginning on October 3 until October 14.

“It is our initiative to give a facelift to the zoo as we are also a part of this city and a lot of visitors are expected to visit the zoo. The cost of the project is still not finalised and the yearly fund which we get from the Ministry would be utilised in this work,” said Krishna.

There are ample number of water points and drinking water facility. Several ice-cream and mineral water vendors are deployed on the zoo premises and authorities are running several battery-operated open-roofed mobile vans, which visitors can use at nominal rates for reaching intra-zoo departments.

The zoological park is spread over an area of 214 acres that consists of more than 1,400 animals, including mammals, reptiles and birds from several countries like America, Africa and Australia.

Jaguar, Royal Bengal tiger, Gir lion, giraffe, hippopotamus, African wild buffalo, spider monkey, zebras, stump tailed macaque, red jungle fowl, hyenas, emu, hoolock gibbon, banteng, axis deer, fallow deer, peafowl and hog dear are the major attractions at the zoo.

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