Nandankanan zoo gets largest open air enclosure for leopards

Bhubaneswar, Dec 29 (IANS) Visitors to the Nandankanan Zoological Park here can now get a close view of leopards with new open enclosure housing the big cats being thrown open Monday.

The zoo, which celebrated its 55th foundation day Monday, also inaugurated a walk through aviary.
Nandankanan is the third zoo in the country after Gangtok and Aizawl to have such leopard enclosure. Presently, three leopards have been housed in the 1,150 square metre enclosure guarded by an 8,000-volt solar powered electric fence.
“The enclosure is designed in a manner that visitors can have a clear view of the animals. It is the largest open air enclosure of the country,” said zoo director Sudarsan Panda.
He said the solar fencing has been set up as a precautionary measure as leopards, who are usually kept inside closed enclosures, are expert climbers and can climb up any kind of fencing.
The walk through aviary, built on a 2,200 square metre area, will have an array of colourful birds.
“These initiatives will help attracting more tourists and they will definitely enjoy the environment. We are also planning to operate the rope-way, which was under defunct condition in the zoo,” said Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh after inaugurating the new attractions.