Cheetah, African Lions, Mandrill Monkeys and Lemur are going to be the new star attractions for the Nehru Zoo Park in its Golden Jubilee year. Spread over 380 acres, the popular leisure spot of the city is organising a series of activities including acquisition of new species and adding more facilities for the jubilee celebrations scheduled to be held from October 6 to 10. The zoo is in the process of acquiring a pair each of Cheetah and African Lions from Saudi Arabia. Saudi Prince Bandar Bin Saud Bin Mohammad Al-Saud who visited the zoo during the CoP-11 meet in the city had promised these animals. “The assurance has been followed up and necessary formalities are being attended to,” an official said.
Plans are also drawn to acquire Lemur, the primates of Madagascar, and Israel zoo has expressed willingness to give them. “The animal facility there has adequate number of Lemurs and agreed to give us few,” he said.The Nehru Zoo Park also does not have Mandrills, the endangered monkeys of Africa, and different facilities are being tapped to get them. For the Gharials here, the authorities have decided to set up underwater glass enclosures. “Gharials are deep water species and the glass enclosure will enable visitors to appreciate them better,” said zoo park curator A.Sankaran. The zoo which drew an unprecedented 2.70 million visitors during the year 2012-13, the highest ever in the last five decades, plans to make a grand celebration in October.
A Golden Jubilee Pylon is to be set up inside the zoo park and is estimated to cost around Rs.25 lakh. Architects have been approached to present designs that commemorate the event. There is also a plan to install a statue of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru at the zoo.