Peshawar Zoo draws influx of children, families on 3rd day of Eid

PESHAWAR   -   Anaya Bibi (8), a fourth grade student of a private school was excited after visiting the Peshawar Zoo where wild animals were caged attracting an influx of children along with families on the 3rd day of Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations.

“Seeing wild animals including cobra snake, lion, falcons and zarafa with own eyes were my dream. Big thank you to my papa for fulfilling my childhood dream today,” said Anaya, a resident of Pabbi Nowshera district at the zoo.

“I am very impressed that rare wildlife animals were kept in natural environment besides facilities made for the visitors at Peshawar zoo,” she told APP while seeing falcons.

Like Anaya, thousands of children along with families visited the zoo during Eid holidays and took keen interest in zarafas, lions, cobra snakes, bears, pheasants, dears, cranes, reptiles, birds, parrots and falcons. These animals remained centre of attraction of small children, youth and families arrived from different districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and spent few hours in its relax environment amid fun and laughter.

Children accompanied by parents who arrived from Khyber, Kohat, Nowshera, Charsadda, Mardan, Mohmand, Swabi, Peshawar and others districts of KP were briefed by the wildlife experts.

The zoo was established on 29 acres land near University of Peshawar. It was the biggest zoo of Pakistan established by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa wildlife department wherein almost all species of wild animals and birds existing in the country were caged in natural habitats.

At entrance, big status of elephant and zarafa have been installed in front of main gate that attract attention of visitors, and children while passing through Rahatabad Road. Falcons’ cage remained a centre of attraction of tourists, wildlife lovers, students and children where three large sizes brown and black eagles are kept. On its left and middle sides, zarafas, zebras, camels, dears, ducks, pheasants and others birds draw visitors’ attention.

A safari bus is also available for visitors to help them in watching all these wild animals in short time besides a restaurant for food services. Free swings, camel and train ride inside facility doubled the joy of children. Sidra Sheraz (30), who came to the zoo along with her children from Nowshera told APP that it was a great gift for people of Peshawar, which has not only enhanced beauty of Peshawar but also become a symbol of healthy entertainment.

“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,” she said.

“Falcons have always attracted my children and that is why I came here to see them closely on my kids’ demands,” she said.

“It is not only a place of entertainment but a great source of education and research for students of wildlife and zoology who otherwise travelled to Islamabad and Lahore for this purpose in the past,” she said.

She underscored the need for proper shelter shades, trees plantations and proper cold watering for animals, adding services of DVM doctors may be hired 24/7 for looking after medical needs of the animals in harsh weather conditions.

Dr Muhammad Naeem of the Swabi University said that the zoo was a good addition in provision of healthy entertainment and recreation facilities for residents of Peshawar and adjoining districts.

People from Attock Punjab have also visited Peshawar Zoo, which is bringing people of all provinces further closers by enhancing bonds of friendship and love besides knowing about each others’ culture, language and traditions.

He said the negative effects on people’s mental and psychological health put by coronavirus in the past had been ended courtesy by the Peshawar Zoo. Its play-lands, train ride, swings, motion and camel ride, cafeteria and safari train added colours of the zoo.

Suggested an establishment of a testing laboratory at the zoo premises for treatment of common diseases, he said the facility would help avoid deaths of precious animals in future.  He said fare of zoo was relatively high and small children should be exempted from it.

Special focus should be made on training of doctors and staff employed at the zoo so that they could properly take care of the animals as per international standards.

The wildlife experts urged visitors not to throw stones at animals or tease them, and extend full cooperation with zoo staff. They said the zoo was identity of Peshawar and visitors should make it neat and clean for people.

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