Kathmandu, October 15

Although the foundation stone of the zoological garden to be built in Suryabinayak, Bhaktapur was laid four months ago, pre-construction works are yet to be completed.

The Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation informed works on wire fencing the garden premises are underway, and a detailed master plan will be prepared after demarcation and wire fencing.

The garden’s foundation stone was laid by the then prime minister KP Sharma Oli on June 23 this year amidst a function organised by the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation. Acting Director General of the department Gopal Prakash Bhattarai said that although there is no date set for the completion of the zoological garden, the department aims to do by the next five years.

“We have just started construction works; further works will be started soon after the detailed master plan is prepared,” Bhattarai told The Himalayan Times, adding, “It may take around five years to complete.”

The government initiated this programme with the hope to re-brand the historical and cultural city of Bhaktapur as a home to a museum of flora and fauna. The government has allocated a budget of Rs 55 million through the fiscal budget of 2016/17 for this project.

Officials at the MoFSC in association with the National Trust for Nature Conservation and other stakeholders had already completed the demarcation of boundary to construct this zoological garden that would meet international standards.

As per the government’s long-term plan to relocate the Central Zoo from Jawalakhel to Suryabinayak, big mammals would be shifted to the zoological garden in the first phase. A four-corner demarcation of the land spreading over an area of 245 hectares has already been completed, said officials.

The new zoo will be equipped with animal-friendly modern facilities, recreational centres, and animal care centres. Officials said the government would develop the zoo and the zoological garden to ensure the protection and safety of endangered wild animals and birds.

Large animals such as the tiger, rhino, bear, leopard, elephant, crocodile, hippopotamus, donkey, zebra, lion, sloth bear, and water buffalo would be shifted to the new facility once it is set up.