The Delhi Zoo,which turns 53 this year,is all set for a complete makeover. Visitors to the zoo can now look forward to a more schematic arrangement of fauna with the authorities working on a plan to arrange animals based on the area in which they are natively found.
The Delhi zoo,also know as the National Zoological Park,currently has 110 species of animals. The zoo authorities have proposed to come up with different sections such as Central Indian Highlands,Himalayan Foothills,Peninsular India and a separate section on international species from Africa,America and Australia.
So far,the zoo had a broad schematic arrangement based on international zones. However,officials said this move was not very successful since the Indian species were broadly kept in the Asiatic region section,while species from other countries were inadequate in number to justify the space allotted to them.
In a complete revamp,a large number of zoo enclosures will be dismantled and rebuilt for the new thematic plan. National Zoological Park Director A K Agnihotri told Newsline,This is the only zoo that is directly under the Ministry of Environment and Forests. To portray its national character,we have planned to arrange animals in such a way that all zones in India get a representation.
The Central Indian Highlands will have exhibits such as black buck,blue bull,tigers,sloth bear,sambhar deer and chinkaras while elephants will be the highlight of the Peninsular region. Rhino,cheetah,spotted deer and shanghai deer will be some of the exhibits in the Himalayan Foothill zone,officials said.
The zoos curator,Riaz Ahmad Khan said,A butterfly park,an aquarium and a new visitors centre with an auditorium and exhibition gallery is also planned. We have also introduced the mixed-species concept where some herbivorous animals such as sambhar,black buck,spotted deer, and barking deer will be kept in the same enclosure.
Though a Rs 150-crore sanction has been approved by the ministry,the zoo authorities are yet to get it. Meanwhile,work has been initiated on road relaying and sewage systems,using the zoos internal funds. Over the years,new enclosures have come up and no sewage system was put in place for them. We have begun work on this, Agnihotri said.
Zoo officials also plan to get more species from the country and abroad to add to their present number of 110 species.