Improve animal care and facilities at zoo, says U.S. team

Ed Bronikowski, senior curator, Department of Animal Care Sciences, National Zoological Park, Washington, speaking along with a team of foreign delegates and wildlife conservation experts at the Indira Gandhi Zoological Park in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK

Several suggestions on improving animal care facilities, visitor infrastructure and security measures and conservation breeding practices were presented by the three-member delegate team from Smithsonian Institution (SI), Washington DC, during their week-long visit to Indira Gandhi Zoological Park and Kambalakonda Eco Park.

The Smithsonian Institution has been roped-in by the World Bank to support the Government of Andhra Pradesh in redeveloping the two parks, which are two major environmental initiatives under the Andhra Pradesh Disaster Recovery Project (APDRP).

The team consisting of Francisco Dallmeier, Director, Center for Conservation and Sustainability, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Ed Bronikowski, Senior Curator, Department of Animal Care Sciences, National Zoological Park and Raminder Bindra, Consulting Engineer and Design Manager with the National Zoological Park at Washington DC and a three-member World Bank team will submit their concept plan and recommendations for the restoration and redevelopment of the zoo and the Eco-Park in response to the impact of Cyclone Hudhud.

Addressing the media on Wednesday, the SI team said the green corridor connecting IGZP and Kambalakonda was a rare nature’s gift, which provided immense scope of opportunity for conservation measures.

Under the APDRP, the World Bank has released $6 million for the redevelopment of the zoo park. “For the zoo, the Forest Department through its Project Implementation Unit is currently finalising the appointment of a consultant for preparing a comprehensive (master) plan for post-Hudhud restoration and redevelopment works.

This will be ready in six months. We have already shortlisted six applicants for the consultant post and will be finalising it by February,” zoo curator B. Vijay Kumar said. The concept plan and recommendations made by the SI and the World Bank team will provide the direction and key inputs for the master plan, which seeks to promote conservation of biodiversity of the Eastern Ghats and improve the management of the park to international standards. The draft master plan is expected to be ready for consultation with stakeholders by mid-2017. For the Kambalakonda Eco-park, the process for selection of a consultant is currently under-way.

Other suggestions made by the experts included the use of animal waste for sewage treatment plant, developing the aquarium, creating comfortable visitor pathways and expanding facilities for easy access for the differently abled. “One big recommendation is to look at the zoo park and Kambalakonda as one single landscape, irrespective of the different administrative set-ups and will add value to the Central government’s ‘Smart City’ initiative where urban regeneration and management of green and open spaces are key elements,” said Neha Vyas, senior environment specialist, and a part of the three-member team from the World Bank.

Speaking about the role of non-profit organisations like Friends of Zoo in the American zoos, Ed Bronikowski, Senior Curator, Department of Animal Care Sciences, National Zoological Park, said the members help generate substantial funds for the zoos by way of handling food and retail services, membership and animal adoption programmes. “Such a similar setup can be initiated here,” he added.

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Printable version | Aug 3, 2021 9:29:12 AM |

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