‘This is the first time in the history of the zoo that such a grouping has been done'

As part of the new master plan, the 100-acre Delhi Zoo on Tuesday added a new feature in the form of an additional enclosure to house animals from Central India. Animals like the black buck, nilgai, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer and gaur have now been housed together for the benefit of visitors.

“This is the first time in the history of the zoo that such a grouping has been done. The decision was taken on the advice of the Central Zoo Authority. We hope the experiment will give additional information to visitors about the area from where these animals come,'' said a senior zoo officials.

“Initially we were apprehensive that the animals might start fighting among themselves, but we have noticed that they have grouped themselves and are grazing in different sections of the enclosure,'' added the official.

The zoo is home to over 1,000 animals, representing almost 130 species of animals and birds from around the world.

In keeping with the new master plan, the Delhi Zoo is undertaking an ambitious “renovation” plan, which is all set to change its face.

“We plan to have a butterfly park, an insectarium and an aquarium. The master plan aims to provide more space to the animals, bring about infrastructural improvements and make the place more educational for the visitors. There is also a plan to bring in different themes like peninsular India, central Indian highlands and Himalayan foothills,'' said a senior zoo official.

The zoo is seeking over Rs.100 crore from the Union Forests and Environment Ministry to implement the master plan and the survey work for the revamp began last year.

“As per the plan, visitors to the zoo will also be able to enjoy a walk-through aviary and a rainforest region. The idea is to provide a real-life experience to visitors. Better signages and information kiosks are also part of the plan. The master plan also envisages providing improved drainage and sewage. This measure is especially important during the monsoon season when flooding endangers the health of the zoo inmates,'' noted the official.