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General News of Monday, 23 July 2007

Source: GNA

Visits to the Kumasi zoo increases

Kumasi, July 23, GNA - Tourists arrival at the Kumasi zoo has increased since the relocation of animals from the Accra zoo to that place this year.

About 51,000 tourists had visited the zoo as at June this year, yielding a total of GH=A215,800 to the state, as against 49,000 visitors in the whole of 2006, which accrued GH=A216,400.

Mr Emmanuel Nimo, Kumasi zoo Manager, made this known on Monday, when the parliamentary select committee on Lands, Forestry and Mines paid a working visit to the zoo to acquaint themselves with the situation since the transfer of the animals from Accra to Kumasi.

He said the rehabilitated zoo currently had about 58 species of animals, which has attracted more visitors.

Mr Nimo mentioned the lack of cold storage facilities, a veterinary officer and a Van for educational purposes as some of the challenges facing the zoo.

He called for the establishment of a breeding centre, quarantine, receptive centre, restaurant and the upgrading of most of the cages at the zoo.

The manager also called for capacity building and training for the staff to cope with the challenges as a result of the increase in the number of animals.

Mr Andrew Agyei Yeboah, Deputy Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines, said the country needed about 9 million dollars to establish a modern zoo in the country.

He said the government was doing everything possible to improve conditions at the Kumasi zoo, which was the only one in the country and called on the members of the Committee to assist in that direction. Mr Benito Owusu-Bio, Chairman of the Committee, said the visit was to see the situation on the ground after the transfer of the animals from Accra.

He pledged the Committee's unflinching support in all programmes to improve conditions at the zoo to make it more attractive to the public. Mr I.K Boateng, second vice chairman of the Kumasi Zoo Advisory Board, called for the improvement of the drainage system at the zoo as well as an appropriate landscaping and the construction of a new entrance, all in a bid to make the place look beautiful and attractive to the public to increase patronage.

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