Monday, 30th October 2017

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Assam state zoo request for independent society

Altogether 7.5 lakh people visited the zoo in 2018-19 with a revenue generation of Rs 2.82 crore so far

By Hiranya Barman in Guwahati
  • Published 14.08.19, 12:16 AM
  • Updated 14.08.19, 12:16 AM
  • 2 mins read
Visitors throng Assam state zoo in Guwahati. Picture by Manash Das

The Assam state zoo authorities have requested the state government to form a society so that the money earned through entry fees from visitors is used for welfare measures and to address unforeseen calamities.

Over the years, the state zoo has witnessed an increased footfall. In 2016-17, around 7 lakh people visited the zoo and a revenue of Rs 1.87 crore was generated. In 2017-18, the zoo witnessed a footfall of around 7.3 lakh and earned Rs 2.12 crore as revenue.

Altogether 7.5 lakh people visited the zoo in 2018-19 with a revenue generation of Rs 2.82 crore so far.

“Last year, we proposed the formation of a society on the lines of well-known zoos in the country. Mysore zoo, one of the best zoos in the country, set up their society way back in 1982. The matter is likely to be taken up by the cabinet and we hope for the government’s nod on the matter,” Assam state zoo divisional forest officer Tejas Mariswami told The Telegraph.

Mariswami, while explaining the objectives and importance of a zoo society, said funds from the society would come in handy while taking interim and long-term measures inside the zoo, making it self-sufficient.

“The society can help carry out activities like improving the enclosures of animals and veterinary care for them, engaging qualified veterinarians and biologist researchers, for undertaking staff welfare measures and for creating and enhancing facilities for visitors for better experience. If a society is in place, authorities can immediately plan anything, ranging from a minor issue like fixing a broken bulb or a major one in case of a casualty,” he said.

“The state zoo and botanical garden aims to be self-sufficient by 2030. Creating a society in a zoo is the first step towards that goal,” he said.

He attributed the increase in the number of visitors in the zoo to the new animals acquired by it. An ostrich and Asiatic lion are the newly added animals while giraffes are in the offing.

The zoo has also become a breeding ground for black panthers and golden langurs.

“A zoo can be regarded as functioning and having quality only when breeding takes place in it. If the authorities of a particular zoo are able to make the animals breed then that zoo is doing quite well,” a senior official in the forest department said.