PESHAWAR   -  Established on 29 acres vast land near University of Peshawar, Peshawar zoo was a unique recreational facility constructed by the previous PTI Government was attracting a large number of people, tourists and wildlife lovers following coronavirus pandemic.

The negative effects on people’s mental and psychological health put by the coronavirus had almost been ended courtesy by Peshawar zoo which become a main source of recreational and entertainment facility for thousands of people,tourists and wildlife lovers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Peshawar zoo, which was closed due to coronavirus pandemic has been reopened for people and has attracted a substantial number of tourists along with their families and children on Sunday.

Officials in Peshawar Zoo told APP that up to 2,000 people were visiting the zoo per day while the number of visitors increase up to 5,000 on weekend and holidays. 

The children took keen interest in snakes, Zarafas, tigers, lions, bears and inquired questions from the zoo officials and parents about their lifestyle, race, breeding and role in food chain.

White lion brought to the zoo after his seizure in Kohat and around 500 various types of colourful birds and parrots with beautiful chanted voices, are the main center of attraction of tourists and children these days.

Great rush was being witnessed on falcons, zebra, lama, markhoor, rare cats, foxes, ducks and snakes. The children expressed great joy after seeing Cobra and others types of snakes being kept in the snakes box.

“In the past, I had visited Islamabad and Lahore Zoos to entertain my children. This year I did not go to these cities because of Peshawar Zoo,” said Riaz Khan, a resident of Noswhera District.

“Peshawar zoo is bigger than others zoos of the country where all important wild animals were kept,” adding presence of an elephant would help enhance its attraction. 

More than 27 different types of wild species having a strength of about 160 animals besides 43 various types of birds having over 800 numbers mostly brought from abroad were attracting tourists of all age groups. Its strength have increased after breeding of more than 58 new animals and birds in the facility. He said Peshawar zoo was the 74 years old demands of people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that was fulfilled by the PTI Government and termed it a gift of Prime Minister Imran Khan for people of this province. 

Prime Minister Imran Khan had laid its foundation on February 2, 2016 and was opened for general public on February 12, 2018.

“The atmosphere of Peshawar zoo is very peaceful, clean and only Rs 40 is being charged from each visitor which is nominal in the prevailing situation,” he said.

The animal’s cadges were large that helped separating people and animals in a considerable distance.

The zoo is also an important source for students of zoology and wildlife for conducting research as previously they had to visit Lahore and Islamabad for the same.

Painting competition were also held in the zoo through which students highlighted importance of wildlife in our daily life through their art work.

Following completion of Swat Zoo, several extra animals would be shifted to it besides 37 animals were already shifted to Wildlife parks at DI Khan, Lakki Marwat and Kohat for conservation and breeding.

       The number of Arabic deer has increased from 11 to 18 besides numbers of Lama, camels and Parra deer.

       Separate houses for River Horse, Cheeta and Fish pods were being constructed to provide more recreational facilities to visitors at the zoo.

       Peshawar zoo has a unique facilities of play lands, train ride, swings, motion and camel ride, cafeteria and safari trains which were attracting tourists and children in droves these days.