‘Sepahijala zoo requires broader initiative’

AGARTALA:

Sepahijala Zoo and wildlife sanctuary has been reeling under several problems since last few years and requires a broad level initiative for modernization and upgradation, observed the people who work in the sanctuary from beginning.

“Sepahijala is one of the least funded zoos of the country. The funds that come from centre are not at all sufficient. And what is earned by the zoo itself could hardly match less than half of the total expenditure per annum” said a highly placed official posted there in the condition of anonymity. 

He said, most of the enclosures where the animals were kept are old. And, due to repeated maintenance works the enclosures are now fail to give clear view of the animals failing to attract the visitors anymore. Proposals have been forwarded to the central zoo authorities for modern enclosures and the process has started, he added saying that already enclosures of several animals had been renovated with modern enclosures.

Speaking on the health of animals, he said, the zoo hospital also needs some attention. There is only one doctor posted there and he is not enough to treat all the animals. Since most of the animals have crossed their normal age limits they are very vulnerable to several infections and thus we need special care of the animals, he told this website. 

Moreover, he also informed that the sanctuary was also not receiving adequate footfalls of visitors so that it can run on its autonomy. “In terms of scientific studies Sepahijala is one of the best zoos as most of the animals found here have resemblance with the South East Asian species. But for visitors there is nothing new. Adequate funds should be allotted to make the zoo interesting and modern—fit for every age group, he opined.

However, CCTV cameras, e-tendering for food supply and other transparent steps have been already taken to improve the zoo. And, soon online ticketing system will be introduced in order to evade large queues and traffic disruption in front of the zoo entrance in the winter. Meanwhile, the average annual expenditure of the zoo is about Rs 2.5 Crore and the annual income of last year was about Rs 40 lakh or somewhere close to of that.