Visakhapatnam

Zoo likely to get nine lakh footfalls this financial year

Giraffes eating leaves from trees in their enclosure at Indira Gandhi Zoological Park in Visakhapatnam.   | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK

Addition of a number of exotic animal species, more animal adoption programmes and educational programmes for schools and colleges at Indira Gandhi Zoological Park during the 2016-17 financial year have generated a renewed interest among visitors who are flocking the zoo in large numbers.

As a result, the zoo is expecting to welcome a record number of visitors this year - the highest since its inception. In particular, the addition of exotic animal species like giraffes, ring tailed lemur and chimpanzees - first in the zoo - has been a big draw for visitors.

Revenue target

"We are expecting a total of around nine lakh visitors by the end of the financial year, which will be the highest for the zoo park so far. The revenue target for the year is around Rs 3 crore which we hope to cross," zoo curator B. Vijay Kumar told The Hindu.

Till now, the highest number of visitors recorded in a financial year in the zoo is 8.2 lakh in 2008-09. Till December 2016, 6.8 lakh visitors visited the zoo and the revenue earned during the period already crossed Rs 2 crore, according to official figures. Students from around 280 schools visited the zoo and participated in various awareness programmes. Some 16 corporate firms participated in the zoo animal adoption programmes drawing around Rs 65 lakh.

This comes after the zoo park made a remarkable recovery following a large-scale devastation caused during Cyclone Hudhud in October 2014, a year that saw footfalls drop to 5.43 lakh. Nestled in the picturesque Eastern Ghats and spread across an area of 625 acres, Indira Gandhi Zoologizal Park came in to existence in 1977.

With over 170 species of animals today, the zoo park has been a big draw for visitors across the country.

Free WiFi

Buoyed by the encouraging response, the zoo park will soon provide free WiFi facilities for all its visitors and roll out its first app in the Android platform made by a team of B.Tech students from GITAM University.

"We plan to gradually provide ticket booking facilities through the app and also facilitate booking of day packages in the zoo park with tour guides," Mr. Vijay Kumar added.

In an effort to make the zoo eco-friendly, this year 20 more battery 13-seater battery operated vehicles will be added.

"With this, we plan to stop four-wheeler entry in to the zoo park to keep the surroundings pollution free. And while you go through the park, you can enjoy the flora as well as the fauna and it is the only zoo where you can see the nature very closely," the zoo curator said.


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Printable version | Jul 26, 2021 5:02:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/Zoo-likely-to-get-nine-lakh-footfalls-this-financial-year/article17024884.ece

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