What strikes your mind when you give ears to the spell ZOO. Aren’t thoughts hover the mind with those assorted innocent emotions and feelings that already been wedded with the beautiful memories of childhood where we used to visit a specific place surrounded by patterned greenery. By gripping our parent’s fingers to watch the thrill of live animals in front of us. To settle down our curiosity about animals that we used to attain from books, television and old grandma’s stories and fairy tales. Because neither now nor then, it’s not possible for every child to go to a forest to see animals as every child is not fortunate this enough. Children’s love towards animals is not hidden as both of their souls are pure and blameless that creates a strange bond.
Being an animal lover, I feel affectionate to most of the mammals, birds and sometimes to the newborns of reptiles. It’s not my fault but every time its hard to control the “Aww” and the urge of hugging all of them. As a result, Chiyu is already been inherited with these emotions from the age of when other kids get scared from strays and shriek by watching local dogs. Whereas she feel excited to hold every next animal which could might be double of her size, people appreciate this compassionate gesture of hers. So for the sake of sustaining the legacy of bringing kids for a zoo visit we took her along to the Delhi National Zoological Park. It proved as a two hit from the same arrow; a leisure walk in the zoo simultaneously followed by an unplanned Chiyu’s photo shoot done by my colleague photographer friends as surprisingly they won the serendipitous chance to shot a kid model beside natural habitat.
Some Facts and Features
We started around 12 in the noon after our gathering at outdoors of the Zoo premises which is sandwiched between the Purana Qila (Old Fort) and Humayun’s Tomb. That day was Sunday and you can surmise the huge crowd fully comprised of locals, students, national -international tourists and a decent minority of newbie photographers who would like to capture through their freshly learned artistic skills.
Delhi’s Zoological Park was opened in 1959 which was designed by Major Weinman of Colombo, Srilanka and Carl Hagenbeck of West Germany to reinforce the national efforts in conservation of the country’s wild fauna and to inspire the empathy for wild animals among the population of the city. Though such initiatives are beneficial for our society and develops an awareness for the need of conserving our natural resources also the understanding that it’s just not the responsibility of the government but the sanity towards our environment must be shared by us equally. As per the facts, earlier to the inauguration animals were kept in temporary enclosures around Azimganj Sarai (a Mughal era courtyard built for temporary halt for travelers). Uff!! history of amazing Delhi especially Old Delhi is highly elaborate and would never come on my tips.
Do’s and Don’ts
The day was quite sunny, after checking and submission of extra bag at the counter we made ourselves familiar with the elementary rules and regulations which are quite humane and simple to crack if you love pets or feel yourselves compassionate, moreover accountable to animals. Musical, other sound producing instruments or any sort of inflammable and sharp edged articles are all banned. Tobacco, alcohol are strictly a no no inside the premises. Don’t feed the animals. All such measures are for animals safety, after all we are entering in the organised captivity of endangered species and respecting them must be our core principle. Authority has taken care of an aesthetic necessity of hygiene very well, the entire time what we’ve spent there I haven’t smell any rotten meat or caught any glance of poor living condition of any mammal or bird. Park is highly maintained , spick and span; spread in the vast landscape of required greenery.
Begun our trail from the pond full of swans and ducks where they were impressively quacking in their water territories. Parrots were twirling and whistling like champions, savoring their colorful meal in their mirror packed cages. At points, guards were appointed who were taking care of misbehaving crowds because even after plethora of rules mentioned on notice boards, signage warnings placed at prominent places; human can’t show humanity, its not easy for us to stick in their line. Sometimes its become impossible to control own hands and mind; they need someone to remind about their sanity. What to do??? If one wild enters any village or in the territory of human race, they destined to a brutal death by beating those voiceless till their last breath. How could any other species dare for this as this earth only relates to the intelligent ones.
Any recreational center fulfills joy of the visitors on the terms of killing privacy and sometimes safety of the animals. It was a tiring and exhaustive noon of the month of September when every animal was feeling sluggish and scored their peaceful corner in their allocated cages but were in no rest from disturbances of the crowd. Captivity has its own benefits over safety from predators, other animals, natural calamities and proper food supply along with vet care but then everything comes with its price.
One more concern which I would like to highlight is space for big cats that could be improved for their better movement. Living in an environment which resembles to their natural habitat and giving complete relaxation from every trouble is two divergent matter. Elephants were kept in limited land exposure, some more greenery would enhance their surrounding better. Few barrel of extra water can work wonders in summer.
Facilities to Visitors
Stoned pathways are constructed in a way that link all the divided sections from all the directions. Anyone can opt to map the zoo by moving on the foot or by taking the ride of battery operated vehicles operated by private agency and are available on nominal charges. We chose the former one otherwise what was the use of our cameras for which we paid extra. Chiyu’s fun was on its extreme as she’d never seen wilds face to face. Some were huge, some were entertaining, some attracting, colorful while others were scaly and new to her. Steadily, turn by turn our group was resolving her queries. After all its good to see your own child as happy and balanced in the nature, in the presence of other species. Meanwhile, time by time she was resting and giving unaware poses to us as it’s quite a demanding job if this was to be asked from her though she don’t like to get clicked.
For taking care of visitor’s rest, benches has been placed and spread at all over the space. Water coolers are available at different points, eatables are not allowed inside but you can re boost your lost energy from the refreshment center.
The affairs of the National Zoological Park are managed by 10 sections each under an officer or supervisor. Animal keepers/ Zoo Rangers fall under Animal Section; the crucial Veterinary Section is responsible to offer proper medical care to the animals in addition to the routine checkups. Authority of hygienic environment of the zoo is under Sanitary Section. Similarly there are other sections like Stores, Education, Administrative, Research, Security, Garden and Maintenance who have been allocated with several other responsibilities.
Dusk was approaching though we had click with plethora of pictures of wild flora and fauna, Chiyu’s nautanki plus we couldn’t left each other’s candid after all it was a lot of photographers from the same batch. It was time to declare the day, we made our day worthy by ticking down one more gem from Delhi’s treasure.
Zoo is an unique amalgamation that human needs to apprehend, you must expand your intellect than the level of “ Why do I care“ or by indulging in senseless acts on the name of personal fun. Any sanctuary, zoo or national park not only not only satisfy the purpose as a recreational center but these places also fulfills the noble motive for education and R&D centers. Guys you need to grow up, educate yourselves, give space, mark your boundaries, curb your desires, cut less woods and go natural. Other species are living being as well mind it, Karma unfailingly moves in the circular sequence.
Timings & Closing: From 1st April to 15th Oct, zoo functions between 9:00AM to 4:30PM and from 16th Oct to 31st Mar between 9:30AM to 4:00PM and it remains closed on every Friday and on National Holidays.
How to Reach: From Old Delhi railway Station the distance is 6 kms; from ISBT its 12 kms. and from Indira Gandhi Airport its 9 kms.
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