Hyderabad Zoo re-opens after nearly seven months

Hyderabad, Oct 6 (IANS) The Nehru Zoological Park, one of the key tourist attractions in Hyderabad, was Tuesday re-opened after nearly seven months.

Amid elaborate safety measures in view of Covid-19 pandemic, the Zoo gates were re-opened. Fewer visitors were seen but authorities expect the numbers to increase in coming days.

As per the Covid-19 protocol approved by the Central Zoo Authority and the Chief Wildlife Warden, Telangana, the zoo authorities took several measures for the safety of visitors, staff and animals.

Wearing of masks and maintaining social distance was made mandatory for the visitors. Those with high body temperature and suspected symptoms of Covid will not be allowed to enter.

Children below 10 years and adults above 65 years of age are advised to avoid visiting the zoo, especially on weekends and public holidays.

In the first phase, only the open enclosure/moats were opened for the visitors. Closed facilities like the Safari Park, the Nocturnal Animal House, the Reptile House, the Aquarium, the Fossil Museum, the Natural History Museum, etc, will be re-opened in due course, officials said.

The number of ticket counters was reduced to six from 12 earlier as the authorities are encouraging visitors to book their tickets on the zoo website or by installing a mobile app.

Boards prominently displaying the new guidelines for the visitors were installed at the entrance and at various points in the premises. “Avoid touching barricades and other surfaces” was written on one such board.

Markings were made on the ground for visitors to stand at ticket centres and at the entrance in such a way that the minimum physical distance is maintained.

The zoo staff were seen doing thermal screening of all the visitors before allowing them. Hand sanitiser vending machines were also installed for the convenience of the visitors at the entrance and various other points.

All the visitors have to use the medicated foot bath at the entrance and strictly follow six feet social distancing while in the zoo premises.

The battery-operated vehicles (BOVs) and the Toy Train are running with 50 per cent occupancy to ensure social distancing.

The visitor will have to move along the designated pathway only. They are advised to avoid touching barricades and other surfaces so as to minimise chances of infection.

The Zoo authorities announced that spitting and littering in the Zoo premises will attract a fine of Rs 1,000.

Security personnel on duty will monitor compliance of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and social distancing among the visitors. Violators shall be removed from the Zoo.

The ticket counter personnel, security personnel, BOV drivers have been instructed to wear face masks and shields. For the safety of the visitors, the public area in the zoo is sanitised twice every day.

Popular and one of the biggest zoos in the country, the NZP was closed from March 15 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Spread over 300 acres, the zoo is home to nearly 181 indigenous and exotic species, including 1,716 animals, birds, and reptiles.

Known as one of the best zoos in Asia, it attracts around 30 lakh visitors annually.


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