Chennai

Plan afoot to host night safari at Vandalur Zoo

Chief Minister chairs meeting to discuss the proposal, first mooted back in 2007

If all goes well, Arignar Anna Zoological Park or Vandalur Zoo, as it is known widely, will probably be the only zoo in the country to host a night safari, wherein wildlife enthusiasts and visitors will be able watch the animals at night.

The zoo already has a noctural animals section.

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami chaired a meeting of Ministers and officials in the Secretariat on Monday to discuss the proposal. “There is no night safari anywhere in the country presently. We discussed the proposal to have a night safari at Vandalur Zoo,” Forest Minister Dindigul C. Sreenivasan told The Hindu.

The idea for a night safari at Vandalur Zoo was mooted in January 2007 and it was formally announced in the Assembly a year later. Though some concrete steps were taken from 2010 towards realising the project by laying some roads and going ahead with some construction on the campus, the project was eventually deferred in 2011 for want of funds.

Big draw

Sources pointed out that the night safaris in Singapore, China and Thailand attracted footfalls from across the world and had become international tourist destinations.

While the proposal is in its initial stages, if it materialises, Vandalur Zoo could become another destination for tourists to visit in Chennai.

The zoo, spread over 1,490 acres, houses several animal and bird species and has the potential to develop into a bigger facility offering a variety of services. The zoo already has required approvals from the Central Zoo Authority for its lion and deer safaris and hence it will not require fresh approvals for the night safari.

As of March 2019, the zoo housed a total of 475 mammals across 46 species, 1,754 birds across 90 species and 415 reptiles across 35 species. In all, the zoo houses 2,644 animals, birds and reptiles across 171 species.

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Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 1:32:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/plan-afoot-to-host-night-safari-at-vandalur-zoo/article30967017.ece

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