The Delhi zoo was reopened to the public on Sunday, three and a half months after it was temporarily shut due to a surge in coronavirus cases during the second wave. The facility had earlier remained closed for over a year due to the pandemic and bird flu and was reopened on April 1.
“The zoo opens today. Rain could not deter the spirit and enthusiasm of the people, especially the young ones. We are trying our best to make their visit worthwhile," Zoo Director Ramesh Pandey said. The zoo will operate in two shifts — from 8 am to noon, and 1 pm to 5 pm.
Visitors are required to buy tickets online on the zoo’s website or at the entry gates using QR codes. The administration has also introduced cycles for its staff in a bid to minimise noise pollution due to vehicles and reduce carbon footprint. According to Pandey, the zoo had recorded only 124 animal deaths, the lowest in the last three years, while it remained closed to the public in 2020-21. There are 94 species and 1,162 animals in the zoo at present. “We are moving towards having 100 species soon," he said.
The Delhi zoo is likely to get three lions for breeding purposes from Gujarat under an animal exchange programme and three tigers from Nagpur and Chennai. It got an Ostrich from the Chhatbir zoo in Chandigarh around four months ago. No animal exchange programme has been conducted since then due to the pandemic.