Phase-II of Jambu Zoo to be executed during financial year beginning from April

10 more enclosures; herbivore Safari to be introduced

*Exotic species to be brought from outside country

Mohinder Verma

JAMMU, Mar 2: The Phase-II of Jambu Zoo in Nagrota area of Jammu will be executed during the financial year beginning from April 1, 2024 as the Wildlife Board for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has agreed with the proposals prepared by the Wildlife Department. Moreover, plans are being chalked out to divert as maximum as possible Shri Mata Vaishnodevi pilgrims to the zoo in order to popularize the place and generate more revenue.
Jambu Zoo covering an area of 163 hectares with 18 wild animal enclosures and allied infrastructure was opened for public by the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on May 29, 2023 and outsourcing of the animals as per the approved plan is complete now.
Recently, the Wildlife Board for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir headed by Lieutenant Governor was apprised about the proposals to further augment the infrastructure including construction of enclosures and more sourcing of animals in the Phase-II and Board agreed with the proposals, official sources told EXCELSIOR.
During the financial year beginning from April 1, 2024 the Wildlife Department will start making preparations for creation of additional infrastructure and obtaining of necessary approvals from the concerned agencies particularly Central Zoo Authority, they said while disclosing that around 10 new enclosures will be created—five each for herbivores and carnivorous animals and with this the total number of enclosures will increase to 28.
“Moreover, there is a proposal to introduce herbivores Safari, hippopotamus, ostrich and other exotic species particularly those which are not available in India”, sources further said, adding “these animals and species will attract more animal lovers to Jambu Zoo”.
Meanwhile, plans are being chalked out to give wide publicity to Jambu Zoo as per the directions given by the Wildlife Board for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, sources said, adding Jambu Zoo will be promoted at all important places like airport, railway station and National Highways.
Further, the Wildlife Department will regularly organize cultural, food and other festivals in Jambu Zoo and promote the place by massive advertisement on the social media. Harnessing footfall from pilgrims visiting Shri Mata Vaishnodevi Shrine and reaching out to students by organizing competitions and felicitating the best ones are some other steps which will be taken to promote Jambu Zoo.
The Jambu Zoo houses diverse bird, reptile and mammal species in environments mirroring their natural habitats. Serving as a refuge for endangered species, the zoo facilitates successful captive breeding. Noteworthy residents include the Asiatic Lion, Royal Bengal Tiger, Leopard, Himalayan Black Bear, Emu and a captivating Snake Chamber.
The Jambu Zoo has evolved from a modest 2.4 hectares Mini Zoo in Manda to the expansive 163 hectares in Nagrota. Being one of the largest zoological parks in North India, the Jambu Zoo embodies the vision of creating an inclusive environment for entertainment, education and robust research.
This initiative of the Wildlife Department aims to foster a profound connection between the public and wildlife while bolstering the local economy through increased tourism. Positioned conveniently on NH-44, Jambu Zoo is an ideal stop for travelers en route to the revered Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine or the picturesque Kashmir valley. Moreover, nestled in the Himalayan foothills, Jambu Zoo stands as a unique haven for nature lovers, offering an unparalleled experience amidst its expansive beauty.
When contacted, Sarvesh Rai, Chief Wildlife Warden J&K confirmed that Phase-II of Jambu Zoo will be executed during 2024-25 financial year and procedural formalities will begin shortly as per the approval given by the Wildlife Board for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. “We will try to complete Phase-II as expeditiously as possible”, he added.