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General News of Thursday, 31 July 2003

Source: GNA

Accra Zoo may stay

Accra, July 31, GNA - Government on Thursday said it would consider the option of keeping the Accra Zoo as part of any future development of the Flag Staff House Area, the official residence of Ghana's First President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah.

This followed suggestions by Journalists that the Accra Zoo must be kept at its present location as part of the comprehensive development of a green belt within the capital. The Journalists made the appeal in Accra when Mrs Theresa Tagoe, Deputy Minister of Lands and Forestry took her turn at the weekly press briefing organized by the Ministry of Information.

Mrs Tagoe said government was thinking of moving the Zoo to the Shai Hills, "but with this suggestion, I believe we, at the Ministry would consider it and see if we can include it in the future development of the Flag Staff House."

The Flag Staff House is to be developed into the official seat of government that would have the official residence of the President. The Zoo was used by Dr Nkrumah to entertain his guests. But went into disrepair after the 1966 Military Coup, which overthrew him and had never seen any significant repair since.

Mrs Tagoe explained that the original idea was to use the Achimota Forest but we gave up on it since there was some dispute over the land, adding that the overall purpose is to have a bigger zoo that could accommodate bigger and a high number of animals.

The Friends of the Accra Zoo have in recent months mounted a sustained campaign to keep the Accra Zoo at its present location saying, it would not be in the interest of urban children and adults if the facility were moved out of the city.

Besides, they complained that it would deprive the city of a modern zoo.