Mysuru: The over 157-acre century-old Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Garden, popular as Mysuru Zoo, which is one of the most popular Zoos in the country, is all set to get a makeover soon on the lines of foreign Zoos.
Zoo authorities have taken up a slew of development works including development of animal enclosures and a 3.6 kilometre stretch of ‘Thandi Sadak’ walking path inside the Zoo. The Zoo will be developed as a platform to enrich citizen knowledge by providing them scientific education and at the same time a place for amusement and entertainment.
For the first time in the country, the Zoo authorities have decided to build a glass roof aquarium-like enclosure for hippopotamus which will enable a visitor to see the African animal underwater as well as from above the surface.
The new hippo house will be built matching world-class standards for all 11 hippos that are housed in the Zoo. At present, visitors are finding it difficult to see the hippos as they spend most of the time inside water. Children too cannot see the giants due to raised fencing walls around the animal enclosure and parents have to lift their children up for clear visibility.
With the glass enclosure, visitors can see all the features of hippos with its body features like cavernous mouth, formidable teeth and tusks, hippos “yawn” at potential enemies to send them packing including its lunging, scooping water with the mouth, and ferocious head shaking.
“The old raised compound is outdated both technically and structurally around this animal enclosure and it will be replaced by a glass structure with observation windows below the waterline. The glass roof has been designed to cover circular pools, two spherical domes and this will enable a better view for the visitors,” Executive Director of Mysore Zoo Ajit Kulkarni told Star of Mysore.
He said that this new enclosure will be built at a cost of Rs.1.99 crore near the Giraffe House. Once completed, every visitor can have a closer and better view of hippos. The Government has given approval for this project and tenders have been floated.
Thandi Sadak Path
The Zoo authorities have also taken up another project of developing 3.6 kilometre stretch ‘Thandi Sadak’ path within its campus at a cost of Rs.78 lakh. Tenders have also been floated after taking technical approval and work will begin shortly.
The Mysuru Zoo, which houses more than 1,500 animals and over 800 birds, is upgrading this stretch, which was developed by Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, with creepers. The visitors’ path is meant to recreate a jungle and thereby improve visitor experience. This stretch is named ‘Thandi Sadak’ as it remains cool even when temperature is high outside. Maharajas of Mysuru strolled on this stretch to reach the Karanji Lake. This stretch will now be asphalted and will be developed after laying interlocking tiles. Another road from the entry to exit point connecting different animal enclosures will be laid and asphalted at a cost of Rs.48 lakh.
An underpass will be constructed from the entrance of the Zoo to the parking lot for traffic and crowd management. Apart from conducting workshops to sensitise students, youths on eco conservation, Zoo authorities have also developed connecting path or a pedestrian walkway that links Zoo and Karanji Lake Nature Park.
The connecting path has been designed in such a way that tourists can walk amidst sylvan surroundings from the Zoo to the Lake that is known for its rich biodiversity and a destination to see resident and migratory birds. The path has been constructed by the Zoo Authority of Karnataka (ZAK) following suggestions from many tourists that the Zoo and the Karanji Lake must be linked.