The Kumasi Zoological Gardens has been re-opened to the general public after a temporary shut down last year.

The country’s only zoological gardens was forced to shut down to the public following the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic.

Management took the opportunity to rehabilitate the place and put the facility into good shape for visitor’s convenience, security and pleasure.

Mr. John Allottey, Chief Executive Officer of Forestry Commission (FC) speaking at the ceremony explained that the closure had helped to put the facility back to its glorious days.

The aviaries in the Zoo have been renovated to meet the welfare needs of birds, while the polluted flowing river which some of the roaming animals occasionally drank from, had been covered.

The first section of reinforcement of the Zoo’s fence wall, had also been completed to secure the facility from intruders and provide the needed security for both staff and visitors.

Mr. Allotey said works were ongoing for the construction of a new nursery and clinic for the animals while the expansion of the various cages, crocodile enclosures, pavement and visitor trails have been awarded on contract by the FC.

He said the Zoo had over the years, undergone massive transformation with the introduction of diverse animal species such as primates, cats, reptiles, ungulates, rodents, and birds including noticeable hundreds of bats that were not originally part of the Zoo but nonetheless, being protected by the facility.

In Ghana, the Wildlife Division of the FC is mandated to protect and manage Protected Areas (PA), totaling 1,347,600 ha or 5.6 per cent of the country’s land area.

Protected Areas networks includes seven National Parks, six Resource Reserve, two wildlife Sanctuaries, one Strict Nature Reserve and five Coastal Wetlands

Mr. Allotey said Zoos were a living museum and created avenues to learn about wild animals in captivity.

They also help to raise money for conservation initiatives, especially of species which would have gone extinct or totally vanished off the planet.

It was in line with these benefits, that there was the need to address illegal wildlife activities such as land encroachment, bushfire, unregulated farming activities, poaching, and unplanned developmental projects.

Mr Allotey used the occasion to appeal to all visitors to the Zoo to observe all the COVID-19 protocols to protect themselves and their animal exhibits.

Dr. Meyir Yiryele, Manager of Kumasi Zoo, said the facility currently had 196 animals from 54 different species.

He said additional animals of different species both exotic and indigenous, would be brought to the Zoo immediately after the renovation works.

Additional facilities such as a children’s playground and snack bars for visitors would also be installed.

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