Sri Lanka zoo’s aging lions to get new enclosure
ZOO TO BE REFURBISHED TO ACCOMMODATE NEW ANIMALS
21 November, 2009 11:03:00
Sri Lanka National zoo at Dehiwala does not have enough space to accommodate new animals, therefore the zoo authorities are planning to refurbish the zoo premises according to a master plan on completion of the new zoo in Pinnawala and the Safari park in Ridiyagama Hambantota , Director of the national zoo Duminda Jayaratne said.
Addressing a press conference yesterday he further said that they received Rs 120 million for the Pinnawala zoo construction and Rs.50 million for Ridiyagama safari park construction this year.
“We are planning to open a Sri Lankan section at the Pinnawala zoo and a Lion enclosure at the safari park next year. Normally we introduce a pair of animal to the zoo instead a single animal. But we do not have enough space to do that at the moment,” he said.
With reference to a series of deaths reported at the national zoo recently the director explained the cause of deaths. He mentioned most of them died due to old age and not of negligence on their part. The director thanked and appreciated the efforts of his medical staff and said that his staff always tried to save the lives of animals.
According to him some animals in the zoo have already passed their average life span. “We have 10 lions in our zoo. Average life span of a lion is 15 years and the youngest lion in the zoo is 15 years old,” he said.
“At the moment we are not going to construct anything new inside the zoo but we have plans to increase the facilities for the visitors inside the zoo and look forward to increase the parking facilities,” he further said.
Answering the questions raised about the problems of the workers in the zoo, he said that they handed over their suggestions for promotions and increments of workers to the Minister. “Although the workers protest demanding their promotions according to 06/2006 salary circular, no worker in any state institute had received this increment as yet.
“Within this year we were able to give Rs. 16,300,000 as loans and increase the credit limits for the members in the welfare society. We have also increased the living allowance of our workers,” he explained.
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