The Central Zoological Authority has given the nod a few days ago
Coimbatore Corporation is likely to shift its zoo from VOC Park here to Ettimadai, near the city. The Central Zoological Authority gave the nod a few days ago to shift the zoo to a 68.4-acre site at Ettimadai.
The Coimbatore Corporation Zoo was set up in 1965 on a 4.61-acre site, even before the Wildlife Protection Act was legislated.
Problems cropped up in 2003 when the authority said that the zoo needed to be moved to a spacious location. The authority asked the Corporation to identify land for providing better captive breeding conditions to the animals and also ordered shifting of four solitary animals – for biological ventilation – to the Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Vandalur near Chennai.
The zoo has 26 reptiles, 85 mammals, 219 birds, including 11 pea hens and eight Rosy Pelicans.
The animals in the zoo include 11 deer, 26 Bonnet Macaques, six foxes, six large and eight small crocodiles, 11 snakes and three camels.
In December 2003, a lion (Raja, aged 22), a tigress (Rani, aged 21), Himalayan Black Bear (Pandian, aged 26) and Pig-tailed Macaque (aged 16) were shifted to the zoological park in Vandalur.
Thereafter, the Corporation began its marathon efforts to identify a suitable land to shift the zoo.
The authorities first identified a land belonging to the Corporation at Kavundampalayam, a closed compost yard spread over 36 acres.
The Corporation also identified alternative lands, so that the CZA could approve one of those.
The other lands identified were a 26-acre plot at Vellanaipatti, near Kalapatty, a 26-acre plot at Othakkal Mandapam, off Pollachi Road – both belonging to the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments.
The civic body also identified another 68.4 acres at Ettimadai belonging to the Revenue Department, closer to the Coimbatore - Palakkad National Highway.
In December 2010, the authority asked the Corporation to submit a proposal, site details and plan to shift the zoo or the animals would be shifted to other zoological parks.
The Corporation then forwarded the details of the land to the authority. A team of officials comprising Brij Kishore Mishra and S.C. Sharma inspected the land and zeroed in on the one at Ettimadai.
Mr. Mishra told The Hindu over phone that the team had selected the Ettimadai site because it was more ideal than the other locations. It was contiguous with the Western Ghats and the animals could be as close to nature as possible.
Corporation officials said that efforts on appointing a consultant for the preparation of a detailed project report would begin after the Assembly elections.
It would then be submitted to the authority for approval.
The Corporation was likely to complete the work in 18 to 24 months.