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Vandalur zoo witnesses rise in revenue and visitors

P. Oppili

CHENNAI: The Vandalur zoo has recorded an all time high both in number of visitors as well as revenue during the last financial year.

Gautam Dey, Chief Wildlife Warden, Tamil Nadu and Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, told The Hindu that during the financial year from April 2010 to March 2011 a total of 18.10 lakh persons, including children visited the zoo. During the same period in the previous year the visitor total was only about 16 lakh. Similarly, the revenue was Rs.4.02 crore during the financial year 2009-10, which reached Rs.4.69 crore in the last financial year, he said.

Three important factors contributed for the increase in the number of visitors and revenue, said K.S.S.V.P. Reddy, Zoo Director and Chief Conservator of Forests: awareness creation by the zoo authorities, better visitor amenities and affordable tickets.

Explaining about visitor amenities Mr. Reddy said availability of water for visitors, well maintained rest area, battery operated vehicle to lion safari and golf carts to move around the zoo and above all affordable cost of tickets which have been priced at Rs.20 per adult and Rs.10 per child were the reasons for more number of visitors and revenue to the zoo.

For any middle income group family, a visit to the zoo will not cost them more than Rs.200.

Apart from this the family could comfortably spend the whole day visiting various animals, birds and reptiles, he said.

Mr. Reddy said the zoo ensured social grouping of animals (display of all specimens belonging to one particular species close to each other), psychological well being (provision of natural environment), and enrichments (in the form of ladders, climbing materials for the animals to move around the enclosure freely).

This resulted in good captive breeding of important species such as Indian Bison or Gaur, Ostriches, white tiger and other species, Mr. Reddy added.

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