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Visitors rue lack of crowd pullers at Delhi zoo

PTI | New Delhi |

The National Zoological Park, which recently reopened after a brief hiatus over bird flu scare, might lose out on its visitors due to lack of major crowd pullers here.

People thronging the place complain about the absence of animals like giraffe, zebra, kangaroo, ostrich, King Cobra etc at the zoo.

"I have been to Delhi zoo many times. Though I like the place, I feel that it needs a revamp. My little daughter wanted to see giraffe but the park does not have any from so many years," 36-year-old Sajid Naveed, forest officer with Jammu and Kashmir government, said.

22-year-old Shubam Jha, a law student, said the zoo needed to work on its 'Reptile House' which is "losing its sheen without a King Cobra".

"Although the name boards across the park mention many animals and birds, not all of them are present in the zoo. For instance, the snake house had hardly any snakes," he alleged.

Some visitors also complained about how the animals looked "shabby and weak".

"The crocodiles look very shabby and weak. It is high time the zoo officials buckle up and bring some major crowd pullers here," Neha Vishwakarma, a housewife, commented.

A zoo official said all animal exchange programmes have come to a halt after the bird flu scare.

"We understand the ire of the visitors but all exchange programmes have come to a halt at present. The zoo is under scrutiny and it will take some time to get back on track. We are confident that major species will be brought to the park soon," he said.

While the zoo lacks animals like giraffes and ostriches, the white tiger Vijay, who mauled a man to death in 2014, continues to enjoy his share of fame as curious onlookers make a beeline to catch a glimpse of the canine.

The zoo, one of the largest in the country, came under a cloud last year over the death of 13 free ranging birds, including rosy pelicans, ducks and painted storks due to H5N8 Avian influenza.