Works under way to revamp central zooIn an attempt to attract more visitors and create a favourable environment for animals, the Central Zoo based in Jawalakhel, Lalitpur, is revamping its infrastructures
Zoo officials said the construction of pavements that started a year ago has been halfway done and the bird section which is being renovated is expected to be completed within four months. “We plan to construct two new aviaries and an enclosure for small mammals this year,” said Ganesh Koirala, assistant curator at the zoo.
In 2011, the only zoo in the country, which covers an area of six hectares, had implemented a five-year master plan for providing better services to the public. The major focus of the master plan was on improving infrastructure, animal collection and management and conservation education. Similarly, construction of resting places and recreation facilities, among others, have also been prioritised in the master plan to attract more visitors.
Along with the construction of infrastructures, the transformation of meeting hall is also being carried out. Started about some five months ago, the renovation works would be completed by next week, Koirala said.
Other than the construction works, the zoo has been organising awareness programmes and professional visits for students and researchers.
Last year, a Conservation Education Centre was established where students of more than 200 schools are provided with conservation education through audio and visual presentations.
Most of the development work is being implemented by the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) utilising corporate sponsorship and the zoo’s revenue.
Established in 1932 by Juddha Shumsher Rana for his private leisure, the zoo came under the government in 1951 and was opened to the public in 1956.
In December 1995, the zoo was handed over to the NTNC, which developed plans and policies to maintain the zoo and improve the living conditions of animals.
The zoo now houses 35 species of mammals, 420 birds of 53 species, 33 reptiles of 11 species and 320 aquarium fishes of 17 species. According to Bhim Lal Shrestha, account officer at the zoo, around 1.5 million people visit the facility every year. The physical facilities currently available at the zoo include visitor centre, aquarium, library, paddle boat and rafting, elephant ride and children’s ground, among others.
“With the construction and renovation activities, we aim to develop the zoo as a centre for wildlife conservation, research and conservation education, and encourage people to visit it frequently,” Koirala said.