Thursday, 19 June 2008

Ahmedabad to get new zoo & pandas

The TIMES of India

Ahmedabad to get new zoo & pandas

19 Jun 2008, 0236 hrs IST, Kumar Manish,TNN

AHMEDABAD: Breakfast with an orangutan. Close encounter with a panda. No, you aren't on a jungle safari. It could all happen in apnu Amdavad, with plans afoot for a new zoo that would have animals not bound in cramped enclosures.

The Ahmedabd Municipal Corporation (AMC) has already begun frantic search for land for the new zoo in the city, to be spread over 100 acres. At present, the areas — near the Science City in Sola, Pirana and Hathijan — are high on the priority list.

On the shopping list, apart from orangutans and pandas, are lions from Gir, the African elephant and the Himalayan Yak. “There is a proposal for a zoological park of international standards. We are looking for land which will be easily accessible, will be a noise-free zone and environment-friendly,” said deputy municipal commissioner ZA Sacha.

The existing Kamla Nehru Zoological park in Kankaria is spread over 31 acres and has 1,500 birds and 350 animal species. The zoo sees around 20 lakh visitors a year but the animals and birds have been at the receiving end for long because of its location with heavy traffic around, pollution and nearby railway yard.

The new place will be an “open zoo” with animals placed in large, spacious areas, amidst natural beauty in green landscapes. “Today zoos need a holistic approach. These are potential sites to educate people about the importance of wildlife, environment and its conservation,” says Sacha.