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Zoo home for nocturnal species

Guwahati, Feb. 26: Nocturnal species like owls, bats, hedgehogs and varieties of rats will now be housed in a special section inside Assam State Zoo-cum-Botanical Garden in the city.

The state zoo, a favourite hangout among the young and old alike, will get a nocturnal house as part of a Rs 6-crore facelift project.

The project will also include developing a park for children and an additional reptile house.

“We have recently received Rs 6 crore as grant from the state government. We have taken up a project to develop a nocturnal house, which will be the first of its kind here. The project will also include developing additional areas for reptiles and amphibians and a park for children,” said Chandan Bora, divisional forest officer of the Assam State Zoo-cum-Botanical Garden.

While the state government has provided Rs 1,16,000 for 2013-14, Rs 4,74,000 was released for 2014-15.

“The nocturnal house will be developed scientifically and the interiors will be maintained to ensure minimal light for the nocturnal species. The eyesight of nocturnal animals and birds is sharper at night and they become active after sunset. During the day, they mostly keep to their dens and hence, are not visible to humans. The nocturnal house will allow visitors to the zoo to view the different forms of nocturnal animals that we have even during daytime. We hope this will be an added attraction for visitors,” said Bora.

The zoo, at present, does have separate enclosures to house reptiles and amphibians.

However, the zoo management is keen on developing a separate house to accommodate more of these in the future.

“We have so many species of reptiles and amphibians. The reptile house will be built to accommodate more of these,” Bora said.

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