Monday, 30th October 2017

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City zoo plans big for the birds

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By KINSUK BASU
  • Published 27.11.09
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The oldest zoo in India is planning to set up one of the largest aviaries in the country.

On Thursday, the Alipore zoo top brass wrote to the Central Zoo Authority seeking financial grant of Rs 3-4 crore to set up the aviary and refurbish the building that houses reptiles.

“In the first phase of the project, we would like to do away with the small aviaries in the zoo and come up with a bigger and better one. Some of our best assets would be showcased there,” Raju Das, the director of the zoo, told Metro.

“Tigers need not be the only attractions in the zoo. Even birds can draw crowds if displayed nicely,” he added.

According to the proposal, the new oval-shaped aviary would be spread over 10,000sq ft and would tower to a height of 40ft. There would be an artificial water body inside.

The birds would be segregated into enclosures through which a walkway has been planned. The stress would be on providing good nesting places, ample vegetation and quality food. Agriculturists and biologists would help maintain the facility.

Once the aviary is ready in eight to 12 months, the zoo will add to its collection of 1,200 birds, said an official. “The aviaries at the Alipore zoo cannot match the best facilities in India, such as the Karanji Lake aviary run by the Mysore zoo.”

A senior administrative officer of the zoo said the help of experts of the Central Zoo Authority would be sought for the project. “They would be able to advise us on the kinds of birds that can be kept together in the aviary. We might study model aviaries in India and outside for good utilisation of space. A nocturnal birdhouse is also on the cards. Visitors should be able to spend hours here,” he added.

The funds allotted for the project would also be used to revamp the reptile house and enclosures for some other animals.

The circular building for crocodiles and snakes in the south-western corner of the zoo will be modified and made more visitor-friendly. “The building has undergone some repairs but is showing its age. The shape of the building needs to change. The water body for crocodiles needs to be made larger,” said the official.