Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Vandalur had a VIP visitor on Tuesday — Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, who is also the chairperson of the Tamil Nadu Zoo Authority.
The Chief Minister, accompanied by State forest minister M.S.M. Anandan, arrived at the zoo around 1.30 p.m. She spent nearly three hours on the zoo premises and visited about a dozen animal enclosures. She also went around the rest of the area in her vehicle.
Soon after entering the zoo, the Chief Minister went to the interpretation centre located near the entrance where zoo officials told her about the centre.
She then went to the Indian Gaur enclosure and from there, to the lion enclosure.
After visiting the sloth bear and European brown bear enclosures, the Chief Minister stopped by the deer safari and spent nearly 10 minutes there. This is where some saplings were planted to mark her birthday last year. The safari is spread over 80 acres and has more than 100 sambars and 25 spotted deer.
Ms. Jayalalithaa then went to the white tiger enclosure where the officials pointed out to her the cubs she had named on an earlier visit. This was followed by brief stopovers at the enclosures of snakes, turtles and hippopotamus and the aquatic birds’ aviary.
Her last visit was at the elephant enclosure where she spent 10 minutes. She enquired about the health condition of the calves there and also saw the calves being fed with bananas and other food.
A senior forest officer said the Chief Minister expressed her happiness with the health condition of the animals at the zoo and appreciated the work carried out by zoo officials.
Chief secretary, Sheela Balakrishnan, environment and forests secretary, Mohan Verughese Chunkath, and officials from the forest department accompanied the Chief Minister on her visit.