Monday, 30th October 2017

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Take your kids to see flying colours at Birsa zoo

The zoo is to set up open-air butterfly park by the end of 2019

By Animesh Bisoee in Ranchi
  • Published 20.07.19, 1:15 AM
  • Updated 20.07.19, 1:15 AM
  • a min read
Birsa zoo in Ormanjhi near Ranchi (Bhola Prasad)

Nature’s miniature paintings in flight. That’s one way to describe butterflies. Anyone who’s been to butterfly parks in Jamshedpur, Bangalore or Shimla or anywhere else for that matter can understand the joy in spying these flying beauties.

Good news for Ranchi, the state’s first open-air butterfly park — minus net enclosures or fencing of any kind — will come up on the 114-acre Bhagwan Birsa Biological Park at Ormanjhi by this year-end. While Tata Steel Zoological Park, Jamshedpur, has a butterfly park, it is an enclosed structure.

Chief conservator of forests and Birsa zoo director D. Venkateswarlu confirmed to The Telegraph his plans to set up the open-air butterfly park.

“We will soon start the tender process to finalise an agency to set up an open-air butterfly park without enclosures. We hope to complete the project by this year and make it open to the public by year-end. We will get over 70 different species of butterflies, both native and from other states,” said Venkateswarlu.

The butterfly park inside Tata zoo in Jamshedpur
The butterfly park inside Tata zoo in Jamshedpur (Bhola Prasad)

A senior Birsa zoo official said the open-air butterfly park, to be set up near the botanical garden, would be spread across 9 acres.

“Since there won’t be enclosures, infrastructure cost would not be much and will cost around Rs 15-20 lakh. We’ll have the park spread across 9 acres near the botanical garden at the Birsa zoo with display boards for visitors to be able to identify different breeds of butterflies and present visitors with interesting information about each breed, including their life cycle and other habits,” the official said.

He added: “What’s important is there will be a wide variety of plants to attract butterflies. We’ll ensure the habitat is such that butterflies thrive naturally.”

The official hoped the butterfly park would be a big hit with children. “We will arrange student visits and develop this as a tourist spot too,” he said.

Birsa zoo also plans to add to its existing fleet of battery-operated vehicles for visitors. “We have four 11-seater battery-operated golf carts and one four-seater rickshaw. We will add three 14-seater vans and two six-seater rickshaws by August for the convenience of visitors,” said the zoo director.

In 2017-18, over 8 lakh visitors went to Birsa zoo that has over 1,300 wild inmates of 83 species in over 44 enclosures.