Godavari folk want Central Zoo shifted to flora-rich Naumule

Kathmandu, June 7:

Locals of Godavari Village Development Committee say they are ready to provide land required to relocate the Jawalakhel-based Central Zoo.

The locals say they are thinking of forwarding a proposal to the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) with a pledge to provide up to 200 hectares of land in the forest at Naumule.

The Central Zoo, which covers 133 ropanis of land, is home to more than 700 varieties of birds and wild animals.

Opened in 1932 as a personal menagerie of the then Prime Minister Juddha Shumsher, it was taken over by the government in 1956. The National Trust for Nature Conservation has been looking after the management of the zoo.

The National Trust for Nature Conservation is looking for a better place to relocate the zoo and has surveyed certain sites.

The space the zoo occupies is not enough to accommodate more animals, say zoo officials, adding that they have not been able to upgrade facilities due to space constraint.

Member-secretary of the NTNC Bimal K Baniya says space constraint has hampered further development of the zoo.

“We are surveying localities on the outskirts of Lalitpur, Bhaktapur and Kathmandu to relocate the zoo.”

According to Ram Chandra Acharya, leader of the group who wants to provide land to the zoo, “Naumule site is rich in flora and fauna. It has over 70 species of birds. Godavari is one of the favourite spots for picnic, hiking and researches related to bio-diversity.”

The shifting of the zoo to Naumule will also help locals earn livelihood, says Acharya.