After remaining shut for more than two months owing to the second pandemic wave, the Nawab Wajid Ali Shah Zoological Garden unbolted its locks today, welcoming hordes of visitors and a much-needed escalation in its financial sitch.
Earlier, the monthly footfall at the zoo premises was pegged at less than 1% in contrast to its actual strength, leading to a parched cumulative income. Presently in regards to the relaxations, the Lucknow Zoo can expect a certain degree of financial respite, which would enable the administration to easily procure feed for animals while investing in the security and cleanliness of the campus.
Yearly average of 16 lakh visitors during the pre-pandemic era
Being a trust, the zoo is largely dependent on the entrance fee and a fall from its yearly average of 16 lakh visitors to less than 50-100 people a day due to the pandemic, had pushed it towards a severe cash crunch. Now, throwing the gates open to the citizens has birthed a certain sense of economic relief amid the Lucknow Zoo officials, who had been battling scanty funds.
Visitors coming in have to stringently follow the issued COVID protocols like wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing. Entry will be prohibited for individuals who fail to comply with the set guidelines.
Lucknow Zoo now has its footprints on the global map
Nawab Wajid Ali Shah Zoological Garden was established on November 29, 1921, to commemorate the arrival of the Prince of Wales to the city. Lovingly hailed as the Lucknow Zoo, this establishment houses approximately 1,000 animals, belonging to 100 different species. This list includes a pair of new Zebras all the way from Israel as well! Moreover, this zoological garden has 3 ISO certificates to its credit, unlike any other in the country.
Moreover, late last month, the Lucknow Zoo was also granted the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) membership, which has now put it on the global map. This subscription will also furnish the zoo with world-class information about animal care and welfare. Further, the backing of WAZA will help the authorities in their conservation efforts and provide care to the many habitants and endangered species in the zoo.
This zoo has even become India's and probably, the world's first zoological garden to introduce 'mixed reality with smart audio-guided tour' and you wouldn't even need an internet connection or any external hardware to view it all! The app comes with VR 360-degree videos, which allows you to get up close with your favourite animals inside their enclosure, unharmed.
Want to adopt a fur or feather baby?
To combat the financial shortages faced by the zoo, the authorities have also been encouraging adoptions. Lucknow Zoo's adoption policy also benefits patrons in the form of Income Tax rebate under 80G. Additionally in a mark of recognition, the details of the adopters, including names and addresses, will be displayed at the enclosures.