Central Zoo in Jawalakhel
The Central Zoo in Jawalakhel was founded in the year 1932. Its founder, Prime Minister Rana, created it essentially as a private zoo, but in 1956 it was finally opened to the public. It was only in the year 1995 that the Central Zoo was handed over to the National Trust for Nature Conservation, and they immediately set about renovating the zoo.
Before handing over control of the zoo, there were many aspects that were not up to standard. The National Trust for Nature Conservation has therefore implemented objectives and plans to develop the Central Zoo and improve the living conditions of the animals. The first change was the visiting hours at the zoo. On Mondays, the zoo remains closed all day giving animal caretakers the much-needed time to tend to the animals, work on the enlargement of cages and the cage environment. Much as changed since the hand-over, but the work has not been completed and will carry on for many more years. The animals that are currently housed at the Central Zoo in Jawalakhel, have also needed time to recover from their previous living conditions, where their cages were left dirty and unattended, they were not receiving the correct or sufficient amounts of food according to their dietary needs and medical care was not the first priority. These days, the animals are carefully monitored and zookeepers are working hard to improve the environment of the enclosures.
As conservation around the world has become critical, the staff at the Jawalakhel Central Zoo are working towards transforming the zoo into a complete research and educational facility. This includes a breeding program involving endangered animal species. It is hoped that the zoo will not only become a popular tourist attraction, but be used by scholars and students as an educational medium.
There are approximately 900 individual animals housed at the Jawalakhel Central Zoo. Visitors will be able to view various bird species, mammals, fish and reptiles. At present, there are fourteen animals at the zoo that are on the endangered list. Over and above the viewing the animals, visitors will be able enjoy elephant rides, make use of the picnic facilities or use the paddle boats. Children can play safely in the playground, while the adults might prefer a trip to the souvenir shop or restaurant.
The Central Zoo in Jawalakhel is an example to zoo’s across the world, that facilities such as these should be monitored closely to prevent the abuse and mistreatment of the animals. Even though dedicated zoo staff are working to improve the zoo and the conditions, it is not close to what is expected of a facility entrusted with precious animals and the bloodlines of the future.