The Central Zoo is going digital relieving visitors from standing in a long queue for hours to book tickets.
Following this, zoo-goers can book tickets online from anywhere. The zoo will go digital within the current fiscal year, 2076/77 as the administration is at work in this regard, said Dr. Chiranjibi Prasad Pokharel, chief of the zoo administration.
Visitors can save their time and fewer workforce are required after the zoo going online, he said. At present, the zoo has five employees booking tickets.
The number of people visiting zoo has increased as people are interested in watching different types of animals and birds as well as spending time in open space as there is a lack of enough open space in the Kathmandu Valley.
The entrance fee has been determined Rs 750 for foreigners, Rs 500 for guests of SAARC countries, Rs 150 for Nepali citizen and Rs 90 for students and senior citizens. Some 1.1 million people visit the zoo every year and the annual transaction is worth Rs 150 million.
Lack of rescue center
The central zoo also lacks the rescue center to keep different animals in the first phase to protect them. Wild animals, creating a problem by entering the human settlements time and again, should be managed and such wild animals should be kept in the rescue center first.
Only after keeping them at the rescue center, such animals should be kept together with other animals in the zoo. Otherwise, a problem might arise in the bonding of animals.
Although such animals should be kept under special surveillance for health reasons for long, there is a lack of such a center at the zoo.
Dr. Pokharel said, "Some 10-15 animals arrived in the human settlement should be protected here every year. It is not possible to keep such animals for the visit until six months to one year and they should be kept under surveillance of veterinary doctors. But the zoo lacks the space for the same."
Information Officer at the zoo, Leena Chalise, shared that the zoo not only lacks the rescue center, there is also lack of space to keep animals as the number of animals has increased in recent periods.
Information center at the entrance gate itself
The Zoo management has set up an information center with an electronic notice board at the entry gate itself for the convenience of the visitors. The visitors can know about the animals in the zoo by reading electronic boards. The information center set up in 10 months has become very useful and informative to the visitors. Information about the animals kept at the zoo, their characteristics, habitat, how easy to find them, their food, age, and habit can be got through the electronic board.
Likewise, the visitors can know about the present number and types of animals kept in the zoo the moment they are about to enter the zoo with the ticket in hand. One can also easily check which animal has been kept in which part of the zoo. Presently, 5,000 students from schools designated as the 'Friends of Zoo' have been working as volunteers. The information center's job has been made easier by these student volunteers.
There are 1,098 animals of 119 species at the Central Zoo. Tiger, bear, leopard and red panda, among other animals, are the main attractions. Among the 119 species of animals at the zoo, 33 are mammals, 61 birds, eight amphibians and 17 fish. Similarly, 15 of the 38 rare species of animals that are listed as endangered in the country have been protected and exhibited at the zoo.
- Sharmila Pathak