Authorities waiting for heat wave to subside to get new animals

A view of Jambu Zoo. -Excelsior/Rakesh
A view of Jambu Zoo. -Excelsior/Rakesh

Bivek Mathur

JAMMU, June 9: With highest over 5000 people visiting the Jambu Zoo on last Sunday, the newly inaugurated facility has attracted 20650 visitors till June 7.
“Average 1800-2000 people have been visiting the Jambu Zoo daily. But highest 5339 people visited the facility on last Sunday i.e. June 4, 2023,” Amit Sharma, Wildlife Warden, Jambu Zoo, told the Excelsior. Among the visitors are the tourists and Shri Mata Vaishno Devi pilgrims.
To further increase the footfall of the visitors, Sharma said that the Jambu Zoo authorities are in the process of purchasing 10 additional battery operated e-rickshaws. Currently, there are only 10 e-rickshaws operational in the Jambu Zoo to ferry the visitors to-and-fro within the wildlife facility.
Charging Rs 200 per individual, one e-rickshaw ferries at a time 5 visitors, and it takes 5-6 hours to charge the electronic vehicle fully which can run up to 5-6 hours after it is fully-charged.
Sharma further said, “since an e-rickshaw runs on battery, there is possibility of this vehicle getting discharged anytime after 5-5:30 hours.”
“And this technical fault in one or two electronic devices on one odd day has been blown out of the proportion by a section of media. Having done so, they have presented a negative image of the entire Jambu Zoo. They should have rather owned this new facility in their town and made people visit the newly opened zoo,” said Amit Sharma.
On allegations of availability of limited number of animals and reptiles at the newly opened facility, the Wildlife Warden said: “as of now, we’ve brought in all the available species of the animals and reptiles from Manda Zoo to the Jambu Zoo, though the number in the two zoos could differ.”
“For example”, he said, “we have got leopard, bear, all the 5 species of deer, same number of species of snakes, leopard cat, peacock etc at Jambu Zoo.”
“Making the number of animals and reptiles equal at the two zoos isn’t possible right now since the temperature outside is high. So, we’re delaying the transportation of all the available species at Manda Zoo to Jambu Zoo,” he said.
On timeline for introduction of major species of attraction like Asiatic Lion, Bengal Tiger, Ghariyal, Sloth Bear, and Marsh Crocodile, he said, “this too is being delayed deliberately due to high temperature outside.”
“All the animals and reptiles to be transported to Jambu Zoo from other States would be young. So, the wildlife experts have been suggesting that they be transported when the temperature subsides,” he said.
“Within next 1-2 months, all the major species of attraction would be introduced in the Jambu Zoo,” he added.