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Aug 22, 2008

Coimbatore Zoo May Shift ??

The proposed Zoological Park of the Coimbatore Corporation on 68.37 acres at Ettimadai will be a replica of the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve (NBR).The Corporation at present has a zoological park classified as a mini zoo on 3.85 acres at VOC Park.The zoo has a total of 342 animals, birds and reptiles coming under 27 species of birds, seven species of reptiles and mammals each.


Citing space constraints and lack of pairs, the Central Zoological Authority (CZA) ordered the shifting of lone animals such as lion, tiger, hyena and a Himalayan black bear. Then the civic body mooted a proposal for shifting the zoological park to a spacious extent of land and the erstwhile compost yard at Kavundampalayam.Subsequently, the civic body decided on seeking 68.37 acres from the revenue department available at the foothills of Western Ghats in Ettimadai near Amrita University. The assigning i.e., free transfer of land to the civic body was expected to happen in a month or two.The land is situated about 17 km from Coimbatore.



The Coimbatore Mayor, R. Venkatachalam and Corporation Commissioner, V.K. Shanmugam are finalising the plans for the new zoological park. Veterinarian and Corporation Zoo Director, S. Thirukkumaran told The Hindu that the new zoological park would have exotic species of animals besides green cover with endemic and endangered tree species.The zoological park would have native species of the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve.It has the natural environmental factor and two hillocks on the land would be used for putting up natural enclosures. Proposals are under consideration for bringing in exotic species such as cockatoo birds costing Rs 1.5 lakh per pair; pairs of lions, tigers and elephants estimated to be costing around Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 6 lakh and giraffe costing around Rs 15 lakh.



The animals could be brought in only under the animal exchange programme.The proposal also has plans for bringing in chimpanzee, orang-utan, lion-tailed macaque, Hanuman langur, Nilgiris langur, pig-tailed macaques, hippopotamus, jaguar and leopard. The authorities are planning to appoint a consultant first for finalising the plans and will then commence works for setting up the zoological park with grants from the Central Zoological Authority, Tamil Nadu Government and Corporation funds.Works are expected to commence by January 2009 and take 12 to 18 months for completion.The shifting of the zoo would then begin in a phased manner.

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