Yet not up to the hype created for its opening

Record income for open air zoo

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

The country’s first Open Air National Zoological Garden at Pinnawela has earned a record income of over Rs. 3 million within four days from May 1 to 4, according to Sports and Tourism Ministry.

The Ministry stated that the total income of the zoo as at May 04 was Rs. 3,538,940.

It said that the number of local visitors had also increased dramatically during the last five days.

The Open Air National Zoological Garden, situated close to the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage was declared open by Tourism and Sports Minister, Navin Dissanayake on April 17. Located on a land encompassing 42 acres, it cost Rs. 862 million. Rs. 488 million was given by the Treasury and the balance was from the Zoological Development Fund.

According to National Zoological Gardens Director General Anura de Silva, out of the 42 acres only 25 were developed prior to the opening of the Zoo and it contained a leopard enclosure, a mixed deer enclosure and a petting area. The animals currently at the Pinnawela Zoo include leopards, donkeys, deer, monkeys and ponies. A baby wild boar, rabbits and a few varieties of birds are in the petting area.

Meanwhile, many locals, who visited the zoo, complained that there were not many animals except few leopards, deer, rabbits and ducks to see and development work was still being carried out all over the zoo except at the entrance.

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