Bengaluru Zoo safe to visit amid Covid: Official

Bengaluru: A giraffe couple in Bengaluru Bannerghatta Biological park.

Bengaluru, (Samajweekly) Bengaluru Zoo is safe to visit as its Coronavirus pandemic handling calibre has been evaluated and certified by the state health department with certain recommendations, an official has said.

“A team from the Directorate of Health and Family Welfare Services, Bengaluru has conducted evaluation of Bengaluru Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBBP or Bengaluru Zoo) recently on Covid preparedness of BBBP and issued a certificate of Covid compliance,” Executive Director Vanashree Vipin Singh told IANS on Friday.

Following the evaluation, it has been determined that the maximum number of visitors who could be allowed in a day is 4,400.

However, only 10 per cent visitors are arriving now.

To meet the Covid guidelines, the zoo has enabled contactless online ticketing system while only one physical ticketing counter is functional, ensuring physical distancing.

“All individuals entering the park are being screened at the entry point for temperature using handheld thermal scanner. Hand sanitisers and hand washing facility is in place at the entrance and appropriate places,” said Singh.

The zoo has also initiated a campaign by the tagline ‘nanna park namma karthavya’ (our park our responsibility) to make sure that everybody wears a face mask, maintains physical distancing and follows proper hand hygiene and cough etiquette.

Likewise, BBBP has also created a designated quarantine space for visitors, in case they have been identified to be unwell.

“Register is maintained to document the details of symptomatic visitors and staff. Space is well-ventilated and first aid kit is available,” she said.

Meanwhile, the executive director has highlighted that safari vehicles are running only at 50 per cent capacity to maintain physical distancing.

Incidentally, a nodal person has also been identified to coordinate all Covid activities in the park for the staff and visitors.

“Trainings were held for staff regarding care and precautions to be taken in Covid scenario. Regular cleaning of surfaces and vehicles is taken place as per standard operating procedures (SOP). Restaurants are following all safety measures as per SOP,” pointed out Singh.

Similarly, the zoo is also widely communicating on its website and social media accounts about the safety precautions.

Recently, as part of safety measure, the zoo did not allow a few persons with stamped hands into the park.

“Few visitors on business trip in Bengaluru from other states visited the park with a quarantine seal but were not allowed into the park. Hence, we would like to clarify that persons with quarantine seal will not be allowed into the park as per the government guidelines,” she said.

The biological park has four units — a zoo, safari, butterfly park and a rescue centre — sprawling over 732 hectares of land and accommodating 2,279 animals.

The zoo is nestled in the forests of Champakadhama Hills inside the Bannerghatta National Park.

BBBP is a unit of Zoo Authority of Karnataka and one of the few places where wilderness is preserved in the vicinity of a city like Bengaluru.