New Delhi: The Delhi zoo will reopen for visitors from August 1, over three months after it was shut due to a surge in coronavirus cases during the second wave of the pandemic, officials said on Monday.
The zoo was earlier closed for more than a year due to the first wave of coronavirus and bird flu. It was reopened for visitors on April 1, only to be closed again on April 15 due to the resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are planning to open the National Zoological Park (Delhi zoo) from August 1. (We are) preparing for things to be in order. It will be in two shifts as earlier. Online booking will open from July 31,” Zoo Director Ramesh Pandey said.
According to Pandey, the Zoo will open in two shifts — 9 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 4 pm. In the one-hour gap in between sanitization will be used to sanitise the Zoo.
“Delhi Zoo authorities on Monday informed that Delhi Zoo will reopen from August 1 in two shifts — 9 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 4 pm. Entry will be granted strictly through online booking. All Covid-19 protocols will be observed. Online booking will be opened from July 31,” Pandey told ANI.
“We will try to maintain Covid appropriate behaviour and sanitize the zoo to keep it disinfected,” he added.
CCTV cameras in large numbers have been installed in the Zoo for proper vigilance. Disinfectants like Virkon, Sodium Hypochlorite, Lime Powder are being used to keep the zoo atmosphere safe, especially for raptors. A total of 1500 visitors will be allowed in each slot.
“We will see how does it goes and accordingly will think of increasing or decreasing the number of visitors,” the Director said.
Visitors can buy tickets online either on the zoo’s website or at the entry gates using QR codes. The zoo administration has also introduced cycles for staff and asked them not to use bikes or cars inside the premises.
Pandey said the zoo recorded only 124 animal deaths, the lowest in the last three years, while it remained closed for public in 2020-21. There are 94 species and 1,162 animals in the zoo at present, he said.
“We are moving towards having 100 species soon,” he said.
(With inputs from ANI and PTI)