Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sikkim Zoo aiming for global standards

NewDelhi&Gangtok: Flaunt "global standards" seems to be the new mantra for zoo authorities in India. Aiming to refurbish their "dull" look and attract as many tourists, several zoo authorities across the country are partnering with foreign experts in a big way, even if it means loosening their pockets a little more.

For its proposed night safari , Sikkim Zoo Authority has considered approaching Singapore-based world-known Bernard Harrison and Friends Ltd which is instrumental in setting up such safaris in the Asian nations. With varied innovative themes to attract visitors and state-of-the-art facilities for the animals, these "Flaunt-Global" zoos are definitely looking to have edge over the other "domestic" zoos. "This is a positive sign. The authorities are looking beyond being local. Consultation from reputed firms would help improve the look of the zoos, which is good for animals as well visitors," B R Sharma, member secretary, Central Zoo Authority told.

If they have money we have no problem in sanctioning their plan as long as they follow our guidelines, he said, emphasising that zoos are centre for conservation, entertainment and creating awareness.

Sikkim like other states is also mulling plans to float global tenders to invite bids from foreign expertise for their proposed zoo plans. "While Sikkim wants a night safari in his state, Tamil Nadu is working on a proposal to start another zoo having facilities of international standards," B R Gupta, senior scientific officer with CZA said.