Downtown

A special park for children

It is time to give your children a break from the wildlife programmes on television to show them some real time action.

About 22 acres have been carved out of the Guindy National Park to create a special park for children. Freely roaming spotted deer, the Rosy Pelican, Spoon bill, White Ibis, Red Jungle Fowl, Peafowl, Barn Owl, Indian Wild dog, Sambar, black Buck, Budgerigar, Cocktiels, Barking deer, Common langur, common Otter, Emu, jackal, Crocodile, Starred Tortoise, Jungle Cat, mongoose, bonnet monkey, Hyena, Vedanthangal birds and a lot more, instil a sense of excitement among the little ones who visit the park.

The much needed shade to enjoy the ambience is provided by the canopy of huge trees. In fact the park is said to exhibit a fossilised tree specimen which is estimated to be about 20 million years old. For a breather, there are numerous benches for visitors to relax and enjoy the flora and fauna. The rear end of the park sports a huge kids play area.

With the Sun beating down mercilessly, the forest officials are taking appropriate measures to protect the animals and birds for the scorching heat.

As a perquisite for summer, cucumber has been added to the diet of the animals. V. Karuna Priya, Wildlife Warden said that a special variety of coolant – e-care-ace has been added to their drinking water.

“Thatched sheds have been provided within all the enclosures. We are also planning to provide a trough filled with water, in which the animals can cool themselves,” she added.

Apart from this, wet gunny bags have been spread across the grill at a height of six feet and water is sprayed regularly. “We also keep a tab on the signs of any ailment in the animals due to heat,” Ms. Karuna Priya added.

Apart from these arrangements the Park is well maintained and shows no signs of litter, except for the parking lot. Being holiday time, the park overflows with visitors from different places of Tamil Nadu. According to the authorities, the Park is seeing a collection of Rs. 10,000 on weekends and around Rs. 7, 000 on weekdays.

The Snake Park which is maintained by the Chennai Snake Park Trust showcases a large collection of snakes and other reptiles. The facts that have been provided about each species amaze the visitors. Snakes which have found a place in this park include the King Cobra, Banded Krait, Vipers, Indian rock python (Python Molorus), the reticulated python (Python Reticulatus), chamaeleon, lizards, alligators and turtles.

The interpretation centre provides information about snakes and demystifies the myths about them. It screens videos and documentaries on snakes, snake bite and venom harvest. There is also a museum, that is being renovated, housing conserved specimens of reptiles and amphibians. This park which is open from 8.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. remains closed on Tuesdays.

Carry water bottle, if not water. Drinking water is available inside the Children's Park.

There is no canteen presently at the venue and it is wise to carry snacks and food materials, but avoid plastic and polythene bags.

Take time to use the interpretation centre for information about the biodiversity of the Guindy Park.

Entry fee for Children's Park is Rs. 5 for adults and children above 10 years. For Snake Park, it is Rs. 10 for adults and Rs. 5 for children.

The entry to the Guindy National Park is restricted and one can visit the protected reserve after prior authorisation from the authorities. For details, contact 24321471.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2021 12:38:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/a-special-park-for-children/article3425175.ece

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