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Mysuru Zoo likely to reopen in June first week: Minister ST Somashekar

Mysuru Palace and Chamundeshwari Temple atop Chamundi Hill to be reopened based on Centre's guidelines, says Somashekar

Mysuru, May 30:- “Mysuru Zoo is likely to reopen in June first week. An official decision will be taken on Monday or Tuesday. All preparations are being made to reopen the zoo,” said District in-charge Minister S T Somashekhar.

Photos by Geekay Hegde

He was speaking at Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens at Indiranagar here on Saturday.

“We are reopening zoo keeping in mind the well-being of animals and tourists. We have already collected the opinions of public representatives of the district. District administration is all prepared to reopen the zoo. All precautionary measures are taken. We are yet to get permission from the forest minister and the government. After that, the zoo will reopen. I don’t know about other zoos of the state. I am speaking only about Mysuru Zoo,” he added.

“I don’t know about reopening the Mysuru Palace for tourists. Chamundeshwari Temple atop Chamundi Hill will open based on the guidelines of the central government. We are taking measures to reopen tourist spots. The central government will release the guidelines in the next 2 days,” he said.

“Zoo Authority of Karnataka suffered a loss of Rs 16 crore during the lockdown. Mysuru Zoo and Bannerghatta National Park lost Rs 7 crore apiece. Zoos are facing financial difficulties. The ZKA held a meeting on May 21. The meeting decided to reopen the zoos. We have requested the state government to give permission. People will not start visiting the zoo as soon as it is reopened. We will make guidelines based on the number of visitors. We are prepared to reopen the zoos if government permits. Animals don’t have the fear of coronavirus pandemic,” said the secretary of ZAK B P Ravi.

The minister handed over a cheque of Rs 25.14 lakh collected by the donors to the director of Mysuru Zoo, Ajith Kulkarni on the occasion.

“Mysuru Zoo has received a good amount of donations. We have received around Rs 3 crore as donations. The district in-charge minister himself collected Rs 2.6 crore. We have not felt any problem in looking after the animals. Zoo employees too received their salaries in time. We have requested the government to provide funds as compensation for the loss occurred. We are hopeful of the government providing it,” said Ajith Kulkarni. (MR/KS)

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