By Kedar Nadella
The excited chatter of school children, the murmur of scores of families and the proud faces of the zoo officials filled the Nehru Zoological Park on the occasion of its golden jubilee celebrations on 6th October.
Established in 1963 and named after the first Prime Minister of India, this 380-acre Zoological Park, better known as the Hyderabad Zoo, has planned a number of activities for the students in the city from 6th to 10th October as part of their celebrations that began on Sunday at the zoo premises. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy was the chief guest at the inauguration ceremony where he opened many new sections of the zoo.
Later, addressing the gathering of school students and their families, the Chief Minister spoke about the reforms that are needed to safeguard plants and animals in our society. He encouraged students to make friends with nature. In the light of a Forest Ranger being killed in Nizambad, he promised to provide forest officials with weapons.
The chief minister inaugurated a squirrel monkey enclosure and a swan complex.
Kiran Kumar Reddy also released a zoo souvenir book, a special postage stamp for the occasion, a new zoo brochure and a Vanya Prani Saptah poster. Three persons were chosen for the Best Employee awards from Hyderabad, Vishakhapatnam and Tirupati Zoos for their useful contributions to the zoo maintenance and upkeep.
“There needs to be a full time veterinary doctor on the premises for the animals. Visitors should not be allowed the travel in four wheelers inside the zoo but instead should use the battery operated vehicles provided here,” said Priyanka from Wildlife and Eco Club, a newly formed group of volunteers in Hyderabad that aims to spread environmental awareness among people.
Also present at the event were Satucharla Vijaya Rama Raju, Minister for Science and Technology, Samuel Perumalla, Chief Secretary of Forest Department, BSS Reddy, Conservator of Forests, Sandhya Rani, Post Master General of Andhra Pradesh, and M Bhagavantha, Managing Director of State Bank of India, Hyderabad.
The inauguration was followed by the quiz competitions for students from various colleges in the city. Events such as quizzes, games, skits, seminars, mimes and workshops for students will continue to be conducted by the zoo authorities till 10th.