ISLAMABAD-Unlike the zoo parks of Lahore and Bahria Town societies where visitors enjoy a glance of different wildlife species which are normally seen at rare moments or once in a lifetime and are therefore entertaining, Islamabad zoo requires variety of animals.

Despite the availability of huge space and area, the zoo is missing even common species of wild animals which are mostly present in almost every zoo and are also much fascinating for children.

On a visit to the zoo of Islamabad, this correspondent asked a visitor how he feels about the zoo park. Ismail Alamzeb told The Nation, “This zoo park is missing animals which my kids were eager to see like crocodile, tiger and lion.” The father stated that the administration of the zoo park should add these animals, which are a major attraction for most of the children.

While on this trip to zoo, this correspondent also talked with the administration of the zoo park. Bilal Khilji Deputy Director of this zoo stressed that they have written applications countless times to Capital Development Authority (CDA) and Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) regarding the provision of new animals in the park like crocodile and tiger, but the authorities have never responded.

Another official of the management team, Siqander Shah stated that the administration managed to arrange a pair of big cats a few months ago but because of non-availability of cage-setup for lion or any big cat, the animals were transferred somewhere else.

The official also stressed that the government did not even help them in settling cages for animals so that the zoo could further arrange those animals which are not present at the time.

Shah further stressed that huge land is available in the zoo where dozens of cages can be built, but due to negligence by the government and the capital administration, this zoo is unable to expand and improvise its offerings to the visitors.

In an exclusive talk with The Nation, the Mayor of Islamabad, Anser Sheikh revealed that the maintenance and the regulation of the zoo was the responsibility of Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad.

As Mr Sheikh is chairing MCI, this correspondent asked him the reason why the MCI was neglecting the demands of zoo administration regarding the provision of animals not present in the park.

To this question, the mayor Islamabad said that MCI was already facing a shortage of funds by the government.

The mayor elaborated that due to lack of funds by the government to their department, the MCI was unable to perform its tasks and missions. Further, he added that the zoo park will be standardised once they receive the funds by the government.

Lately, it was reported that the zoo was not maintained and the animals were not fed properly nor treated with care.

However, The Nation learnt that the animals present in the zoo were provided with everything like the food and the environment for its special habitat.

Moreover, the park consists of a number of cafeterias and restaurants for families, different stalls of toys and the adventure of swings and bouncing castles for children.

The administration of the zoo also ensures cleaning of the park and animal cages on daily basis.

In addition, the administration also keeps a close look at the health of the animals kept in the zoo for their wellbeing.

Adeel Abbasi stated that the park was cleaned on daily basis and showed this correspondent a record of health facilities given to animals present in the zoo in case of animal health emergency or animal casualty.