Central zoo to add facilities soon

The country’s only zoo plans to bring in more animals

Kathmandu, October 25:

The Central Zoo, the only zoo in the country, has decided to undergo infrastructural overhaul and include more and more animals in its collection to make it more attractive.

In its five-year plan prepared recently, the management had decided to add more facilities for the animals in the zoo and add some more endangered animals.

It plans to build a Ghariyal Breeding and Research Centre, which will facilitate research on Ghariyals and help sustain their population. It is upgrading facilities at the lair of clouded leopards. A Walk-through Avery will be constructed for amusement and closer contact with birds. This will also make the zoo more attractive. The zoo is bringing in some more endangered animals that are not in the zoo, namely red panda or havre.

RK Shrestha, director of the zoo, said there is a need to improve facilities and add more animals in the only zoo of the country because interest of the people towards the animals is on the rise. Breaking all records, around one million people visited the zoo last fiscal, he said, adding, “The zoo should undergo gradual improvement to live up to the expectations of the people.”

Currently the zoo is home to over 1,000 animals, including 15 endangered species that include one-horned rhino, tiger, clouded leopard and python. Altogether 119 animal species are in the zoo: 33 mammals, 61 birds, eight reptiles and 17 fish species. However, the zoo is spread in just 120 ropanis of land.

Responding to a query on space constraint in the zoo, Shrestha said lack of space is obviously an issue, but the zoo management is not piling pressure on the government at present because the government is burdened with many other vital responsibilities. “We are trying to manage the zoo within the available area. We will call for the expansion of the zoo once there is political stability.”

The late Prime Minister Juddha Sumser had established the zoo in 1932 as a private zoo and its ownership came under the government in 1956. Since 1995, the National Trust for Nature Conservation has been looking after the management of the zoo.