The Guyana Zoological Park, located within the Botanical Gardens, will experience a long-awaited rehabilitation. This was announced by the Department of Environment, Ministry of the Presidency.
In a notice published in the newspaper on Friday, the National Parks Commission, which falls under the Department of Environment, invited bids for the “execution of the rehabilitation of enclosures and exhibits for birds” within the park.
Bids for the project will be read on Tuesday, August 13, 2019.
The announcement of this rehabilitation falls in the face of a previous disclosure made by former Business Minister Dominic Gaskin, who had the responsibility for Guyana’s tourism to construct a safari-type facility for the remaining animals.
The zoo, which was formerly one of the most exciting places to visit as a child, has deteriorated over the years to become a habitat for birds and some reptiles.
With the number of animals in the “once magical” destination dwindling, the former Business Minister told this newspaper back in March that plans were in the making for a better zoological park.
According to him, the Guyana Wildlife Conservation and Management Commission (GWCMC) was considering a safari-type zoo.
“We would like to be able to showcase some of our wildlife, but in conditions that are internationally acceptable. If that means moving the zoo to somewhere where there is more space or having a more safari-type facility, then so be it, but I am not sure what the long-term plan is, I only know that it is being looked at and that there are regulations specifically dealing with zoological parks”.
The former Minister said although the Government is considering moving the zoo, no new location has been identified to his knowledge.
The former Minister would only say, “I know that there are plans to do some, well to implement, some new regulations concerning the treatment of wildlife, as well as how zoos or a whole set of regulations for zoos and a few other areas related to wildlife activities”.
He added, “All I know is that it is modern regulations and it is designed to really change the way we do things when it comes to the zoo. I’m not even sure whether the zoo, as it is, is going to continue or how it is going to be operated after the regulations take effect”.
The zoo officially opened its gates to the public back in 1952. Its grounds have been used as the Botanical Gardens since 1895.
The filled cages with harpy eagles and hungry lions once managed to transform a child’s face in seconds from being excited when the eagles flew around to say hello, to afraid when the lions roared to ask for some food.
Instead, when Guyana Times visited the zoo recently, the dull environment merely had a few birds, exotic cats, including the Jaguar and about two others. Huge snakes, caimans, turtles, and monkeys were among the few animals that could have been seen.
Over at the petting zoo within the park were a few donkeys, turtles, and goats along with a few disappointed children, who never even bothered to touch the animals.