A sea of visitors at Birsa zoo in Ranchi on Wednesday. Telegraph picture
January 1, 2014, will go down in the annals of Ranchi zoo history as its biggest earning day both in terms of crowd count and cash flow.
A total of 9,817 adults and 2,377 children visited Bhagwan Birsa Biological Park in Ormanjhi on New Year’s day, setting its coffers jingling with a record Rs 3.59 lakh. Officials confirmed that the collection was the highest ever for a single day since the park came into existence around a decade ago. On December 31, the zoo had made around Rs 90,000.
Naturally enthused with the overwhelming response, the authorities have now decided to keep the animal lovers’ favourite destination spread over 104 hectares open this entire month.
“The sum of Rs 3.59 lakh that we made from sale of tickets is the highest on a single day and is a record. I am not sure whether it was 2012 or 2011, but the previous highest profit we recorded on a single day was on August 15. The figure was around Rs 2.45 lakh,” said zoo director A.K. Patra.
While the entry fee on normal days is Rs 20 for adults and Rs 10 for children, it was raised to Rs 30 and Rs 20, respectively, specially for January 1, which contributed in a large way to the zoo’s huge income.
“We have now decided to keep the zoo open on all days this month, including Mondays when we are shut. The entry fee will be normal,” Patra said, adding that depending on the response, the management might later keep the park open the whole year.
So, what went in the zoo’s favour when there are so many tourist destinations in and around Ranchi?
Vet Ajay Kumar feels that the location is a factor. “Not just Ranchi, people from Hazaribagh, Ramgarh and other places can easily come here with the four-lane road in place now. Tourists passing by often drop in,” he said.
“Our park is probably one of the best maintained state zoos in this part of India. Also, we have had new guests like gharials, leopard cats,” Patra added.
According to officials, the aviary and tiger, elephant, lion and leopard enclosures drew maximum number of visitors on Wednesday. “Though there isn’t any mechanism to measure the footfall at each enclosure, these cells were visibly overcrowded,” said an official.
Special precautionary measures were taken. “About a dozen policemen, along with a magistrate, were deployed by the administration, while we had our own force of guards. The crowd was well-behaved and there was no untoward incident,” said Kumar.