Sunday, June 13, 2021

Chhatbir Zoo re-opens with new tiger cubs, Indian fox, facilities, guidelines

Punjab Government has approved the proposal of Department of Forests and Wildlife Preservation and given go ahead for the reopening of Chhatbir Zoo on December 10, 2020 with strict COVID-19 Protocol for the safety of Zoo visitors, employees and animals, informed M.Sudhagar, Field Director MC Zoological Park, Chhatbir.

The visitors will get the opportunity to see Tiger Cubs Amar, Arjun and Dilnoor on display for the first time. Also the Indian Fox with her new born pups will be on Public Display for the first time.

Apart from this, many new facilities and amenities such as Mom & Baby care room, Free Wi-Fi hotspots, Coffee booth, Control room, Selfie points, New Rest room, Hassle free Parking,Touch free Hand wash and Sanitizer dispensers, etc. have been added in the Zoo for visitors.

Keeping in view of the public demand and the recent guidelines of Government, the zoo administration has worked out a set of procedures to be followed as Standard operating Procedure (SOP) to prepare towards re-opening of Chhatbir Zoo and its facilitiesfor the visitors.The protocol and guidelines to be followed as per the SOP to ensure the safety of Visitors, employees, workers and animals in Zoo includes following:

1. Zoo will be opened for public 6 days a week (Monday closed). Entry for visitors will be allowed from09:30 AM to 4:30 PM (instead of 9.00 AM to 5.00 PM).

2. To ensure the optimal carrying capacity in the Zoo at any point of time, the number of visitors entering zoo has been regulated. Maximum of 2700 visitors will be allowed to visit the zoo in a single day till the normalcy returns in Zoo.Only a limited number of timed tickets will be available in different slot still the normalcy returns in the Zoo to ensure staggered entry and social distancing. The Entry tickets will be valid only for two hours after the entry. The schedule will be as follow:

09:30 am Zoo Entry opens

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09:30 am – 11:30 am Max 900 visitors can enter

11:30 am – 12:00 pm Break for Sanitization

12:00 pm – 02:00 pm Max 900 visitors can enter

02:00 pm – 02:30 pm Break for Sanitization

02:30 pm – 04:30 pm Max 900 visitors can enter

04:30 p.m. Zoo entry closes

3. Tickets for Zoo entry,Parking, Battery Operated Carts etc can be booked through online booking, the link for which has been provided in theZoo website (chhatbirzoo.gov.in). Apart from this, Cashless transactions through QR code system and PoS machines will also be available in Zoo booking counter for those visitors who are unable to do online booking at home.

4. InitiallyBattery Operated Carts (Ferry) with charter (reserved) system will only be allowed for family or related persons, who may reserve a full cart at the prescribed rate. Social distance norms and safety measures will be followed by the operator as per guidelines. Based on the experience and feedback, Hop-on Hop-off system may be considered to be opened later for individual visitor.

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5. To ensure the safety of visitors some indoor facilities such as Reptile House, Nocturnal house, Wildlife Safari (Lion safari and Deer safari)of Zoo have been temporarily closed initially. Based on the experience and feedback of initial month, the facilities may be considered to be opened for public in a phased manner.

6. To prevent the spread of contamination and to maintain self-hygiene, medicated foot mat, touch-free sensor based Hand wash facilities have been provided in zoo entry and other strategic points. Apart from these, Touch-free sanitizer dispensers have been installed in all the important facilities of zoo. For sanitization of barricades, railings outside the animal enclosures, public amenities (toilets, drinking water points, rain shelters, leisure points etc), a dedicated Disinfection Squad has been deputed and there will be frequent breaks or closure in using the facilities.

7. Single use plastic will not be allowed inside zoo. Plastic water bottles and medicine containers may be allowed after screening.

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8. To provide the minimum essential eatables for the visitors, the Zoo administration is planning to operate a Canteen inside the zoo to serve the packed food items, bottled drinking water, tea, coffee etc with all the safety norms.

Besides this, the guidelines for the zoo visitors include:

1. Visitors shall come to zoo only when they do not have cough, cold and fever symptoms.

2. Adults above 65 years and children below 5 years of age are requested not to visit the zoo till the normalcy returns in the zoo.

3. All visitors shall compulsorily wear face masks while entering the zoo premises. In case they forget to carry the facemask, they can purchase facemask, the counter for which has been created at the entrance of Zoo.

4. Only cashless and online booking will be allowed for purchasing Zoo entry tickets. The Entry tickets will be valid only for two hours after the entry inside zoo.

5. All visitors shall compulsorily pass over the medicated foot-mat at the entrance of the Zoo.

6. Visitors shall undergo body temperature scanning while entering zoo premises.

7. All visitors shall strictly maintain social distance while in zoo.

8. Avoid touching barricades and other surfaces in zoo so as to minimize chances of spread and contamination.

9. Movement should be along designated visitor path only and avoid diversions or shortcuts.

10. Visitors shall avoid spitting in open areas of zoo. None shall not chew pan masala, gutka and khaini and spit in zoo premises.

11. The Cloak Room/ Luggage/ Locker Room facility is being withdrawn temporarily due to COVID-19 Pandemic, the visitors are strictly advised not to carry any luggage or any such articles requiring the above-said facility.

12. All visitors shall be under the strict monitoring and the violators of any of the guidelines shall be imposed fine of minimum Rs.500/per violation per head.

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