Zoos in Bengal to reopen on October 2
Zoos in Bengal, shut since March 17 in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, will be open from October 2, the government said on Friday and released a set of guidelines for the reopening.
Tickets have to be booked online.
“The zoos will have to work out the number of visitors they can allow according to their area and infrastructure,” said V.K. Yadav, the chief wildlife warden of Bengal.
Officials at the Alipore zoo said they were planning to cap the daily visitor count at 5,000. An official said “the cap will be revised in the peak months as the Covid situation is dynamic”.
The Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park in Darjeeling and Bengal Safari Park in Siliguri are also set to open from October 2. Bengal has around a dozen zoos.
The guidelines state everyone on the premises has to wear a mask and the footfall in the cafeterias cannot be more than 30 per cent of the capacity.
The guidelines also include Covid-19 protocols that have to be followed in forests, national parks and sanctuaries, which will be open for visitors from September 23.
All tourist vehicles will have one seat vacant between two passengers and the number of visitors on a watch tower in a forest will not be over 20. For now, elephant safaris are banned.