Back to wilderness

No visitor to the Jawalakhel-based Central Zoo will fail to notice the space restrictions imposed upon most animals there. With the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC), which manages the Central Zoo, looking to add even more animals in the near future, there is no other way than shifting the animal sanctuary to a more spacious location. Owing to space constraints, NTNC has also not been able to upgrade the zoo facilities to its liking. The locals of Godavari VDC, answering NTNC’s clarion call, have proposed Naumule of Godavari VDC as the new site for Central Zoo, in the process pledging up to 200 hectares of land in the forest areas of Naumule. The current facility at Jawalakhel, home to over 700 varieties of birds and wild animals, spans over just 4.5 hectares.

NTNC is surveying various localities on the outskirts of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur. Naumule promoters have proposed the site in light of its rich flora and fauna. Besides, they argue, Godavari is already one of the favourite spots for picnic, hiking and bio-diversity research activities. The added attraction of zoo is expected to lure even more nature lovers, which, in turn should help improve the livelihood of the locals. It sounds good. The idea of animals enjoying wide-open spaces in a verdant environment is so much more appealing (and humane) than the picture of wild creatures cooped up in narrow cells.