Dhaka and Rangpur zoo modernization: Consulting firm submits concept paper of master plan

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Animals in both zoos will be kept in environments that resemble their natural habitats like the African jungle and the Sundarbans 

A consulting firm for zoo renovation has submitted a concept paper of a master plan for the modernization of Dhaka and Rangpur Zoo to the respective authorities.

The consulting firm, Bernard Harrison and Friends Ltd prepared the concept paper that recommended to the zoo authorities to create environments resembling the African jungle and the Sundarbans for the animals.

The government took an initiative to modernize the zoos in the country in 2015-16.

To implement the modernization plan, the government signed an agreement with world renowned consulting firm, Bernard Harrison and Friends Ltd to come up with master plans for Dhaka and Rangpur Zoos in 2019.

In continuation of this, the consulting firm recently submitted their concept paper of the master plan to the zoo authorities.

On Thursday, the zoo authorities, Bangladeshi experts, former curators of zoos are set to meet the representatives of Bernard Harrison and Friends Ltd over the concept paper.

Sources said that the consulting firm previously met officials and visited Dhaka Zoo. They emphasized on the temperature, and noted the trees in the Dhaka Zoo.

The consultation firm will also advise about the duty and responsibility of zoo officials to maintain a world class zoo in the master plan.

Recommendations

According to the concept paper, the whole zoo will be restructured. Design and size of animal cages will be similar to the modern zoos of the world.

Animals will get forest environment, and new trees according to their natural habitat. They will drink water from a canal or lake type water body which will look natural.

Caves will be constructed for tigers and some other animals. The Kewra tree will be planted as food for deers. Some existing trees will also be uprooted.

Currently, deers are in three different sections of the Dhaka Zoo. All of them will be kept in a larger enclosure that will look like a natural forest.

African animals including the Lion will be kept in an environment that resemble African jungles. Animals, which are collected from the Sundarbans will get the environment of the largest mangrove forest in the world.

However, the consulting firm did not yet provide the size of the cages or enclosures. 

Number of animals to be cut down in Dhaka Zoo

The number of animals will be reduced due to shortage of space in the zoo, sources said.

Currently, Dhaka Zoo has 2,700 animals of 134 species which is the highest in any single zoo in the world, according to Dr Md Abdul Latif, curator of Bangladesh National Zoo, Dhaka.

Abdul Latif said: “We just received the concept paper of the master plan. There is no concrete or final information here. It is a concept. Master plan will be made based on this concept paper after discussing with the consulting firm.”

“We are expecting to get the final master plan by the end of 2021. Hopefully from 2022, the work on implementation of the master plan will begin,” he said.

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