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July 23, 2020

Zoological Gardens to be declared family zoo soon: mayor

Karachi

July 23, 2020

Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar on Wednesday said the Zoological Garden would soon be declared a family zoo for which the city council has passed a resolution.

The mayor cut a cake to celebrate 150 years of the Karachi zoo and inaugurated projects, including a newly-constructed cage for a white lion and the office of the zoo directorate and public announcement system after its rehabilitation.

Talking to media, Akhtar said during the zoo closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation carried out uplift works in the zoo. “The KMC has provided all required facilities at the zoo that will depict a more beautiful view in the coming days,” he said.

The mayor said the Karachi zoo was one of the oldest places in Pakistan. He said 40 per cent of the zoo was fixed and that there were 900 different animals and birds in the zoo, while its 60 per cent area was covered with greenery, ponds, canteen, the Mughal Garden and a park.

He said around 300,000 people visited the zoo annually and that’s why the KMC was trying to expand it for the visitors. He said the pond was also repaired so the people could enjoy ferry rides.

Akhtar said cages of animals, walls and other places were painted by the staffers who were also provided uniforms. “Besides,” he said, “a veterinary hospital is also established to provide treatment to ailing animals. Machli Ghar has also been renovated while the KMC is also making expenditures for ensuring the provision of basic feed and medicines to animals despite having limited resources.”

To a question, Akhtar said the KMC would once again bid tender for recreational activities at the Aladin Park. He said he did not see the local bodies elections happening soon in the current circumstances, adding that administrators could be posted after the tenure of the incumbent local governments ended.

History

Discussing the history of the Karachi zoo, the mayor said there was a factory of the East India Company on its land in 1833 and the British government had built an accommodation area for its forces in 1940.

He said many prominent personalities, including Mir Talpur of Hyderabad, Prince of Khairpur Meeras Sindh, as well as the East India Company supported the establishment of the Zoological Garden.

“The zoo was handed over to the Karachi Municipality in 1984 for constructing a garden and that the zoo was officially opened for public in 1980,” he added.

Akhtar said that during a visit of Mahatma Gandhi in 1913, the Council of Karachi Municipality through a resolution named the zoo after Mahatma Gandhi. “A small Machli Ghar was established in 1952 which is still there and the work for its upgradation would begin soon. In 1955, the Karachi Municipality's Council renamed it as the Karachi Zoological Garden.

Many uplift works were carried out during the 1960s and 1970s and that the Mughal Garden was established in that era, too. In 1992, Prince and Princess of Japan inaugurated the Natural History Museum here and the Reptile House was also established in the same year.”