Having learnt a bitter lesson in ensuring feed and care to the birds and animals at Nehru Zoological Park during recent curfew period, the authorities have decided to set up quarters for their staff and also improve storage facilities in the zoo premises.

The zoo, which remained closed for week when the curfew was declared in the old city, had to struggle arranging for feed of the animals and also arrange animal keepers report for work.

To meet such eventualities and also ensure better care and availability of personnel from veterinarians to animal keepers within the premises, the zoo authorities have come out with a proposal of setting up staff quarters.

The residential facility has been envisaged as 48 staff quarters in ground plus two level spread over twin towers.

“The presence of keepers is very much required on daily basis not only to feed the animals but also for the upkeep of the animal houses. By providing them with residence in the zoo premises, we can ensure they are available round-the-clock in case of need,” says the zoo director, K. Bhoopal Reddy.

Presently, the curator alone has a quarter in the zoo and the plan is also to provide about six officers quarters to accommodate assistant curators and others.

A two-tonne cold storage, estimated to cost around Rs.8 lakh, also figures in the proposal and is to be located near the hospital.

“This will help us keep the beef, vegetables and fruits stored for few days and not have to struggle the way we had to during the curfew,” an official says.

The total cost of the entire proposal that also seeks adding improvements to the zoo hospital has been put around Rs.3 crore and funds sought from the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA).

Keywords: Animal welfare

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