Bangladesh plans major facelift for its National Zoo in Dhaka

  • Sabikunnahar Lipi, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2021-06-11 21:50:25 BdST

The quaint idea of having caged animals in a zoo just for the entertainment of people will be over soon for Bangladesh National Zoo in Dhaka’s Mirpur. The idea is now to have wild animals living in an environment similar to their natural habitat, where people can observe them from a safe distance.

Mirpur zoo still runs on the style it had in 1950, which is outdated in today’s world, says its Director Abdul Latif. It now awaits the implementation of a mega overahaul plan based on the new idea.

“Globally, all zoos have a theme of free zone for the animals these days. People will see the animals in a free zone, giving them a feeling to watch them in their natural habitat,” the director said.

According to the plan, the zoo will be divided into five zones. Bangladesh habitat zone for local animals, African habitat for African animals and another for domestic animals will be made.

An active zone will be there for children to play, while another zone will be dedicated for nocturnal animals.

A night safari zone will be introduced, which will be open for visitors from 7pm to 11pm with separate ticketing system.

All animals will move freely without being caged, said Director Latif.

“Electric fences will exist at the back but that won’t be visible. It will be camouflaged with plants and creepers. Some places will have fountains. Visitors won’t be able to cross these natural barriers and reach the animals, while the animals, too, won’t be able to come out.”

The plan includes planting bushes and plants in the animal sheds so that the animals can eat directly. Walkways will be made next to buffer zones and green belts.

“We’ll have modern water purification plants and also a workforce for waste management so that people are not put off by stink,” said Director Latif.

Two lakes inside the zoo will be modernised too. They will have floating restaurants with alternative access for people with disability.

“Most likely we’ll get the masterplan this month and then present it to the government to ensure it implementation,” he said.

“It may take 15 years to implement the entire plan. We can’t close the entire zoo to complete the work. We’ll start from a free area and then move the animals from another zone there and continue this way.”