The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, through the Protected Areas Commission, has commenced the rehabilitation of the entrance road to the Guyana Zoological Park.
The ministry says work is expected to take three months and address issues of flooding and erosion common to the previous road.
This project is part of a larger effort to rehabilitate and modernize the Zoo under the Three Parks Initiative which was launched by the Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Hon. Robert M. Persaud.
According to the ministry, the Commission acknowledges that there are a number of challenges facing the Guyana Zoo, and that this is just one small step towards transforming the Zoo into a modern facility. However, with support from the Beharry Group of Companies, and Conservation International, a larger master plan for the zoo has been prepared.
According to the Commission, the vision of the modernized zoo is to connect Guyanese, and visitors to the Guyana, with the rich natural world that exists just beyond the limits of our urban landscape. The overall visitor experience will be one of passing through a series of habitat types which represent different regions in Guyana, such as the mangroves and the savannahs.
Additionally, efforts are underway to create larger exhibit spaces that allow animals to roam freely within a more natural habitat. This will be key, as over 80% of the animals currently housed at the facility were not collected by the Zoo, but brought in abandoned, injured or as unwanted pets. Although the Zoo does its best to release injured animals once they have recovered, in many cases they are physically and/or mentally unable to survive in the wild. With the planned rehabilitation, the Commission hopes to improve educational programs and install interpretive graphics that inform visitors of Guyana’s unique biodiversity and the importance of conserving these animals in their native habitats.
The Protected Areas Commission is continuously working to engage interested businesses, individuals and other groups to support the rehabilitation efforts. The Commission is even open to sponsors using their own contractors and issuing payments directly to these contractors, based on agreed designs and specifications. Using this approach, sponsors donate completed, state of the art enclosures rather than funds.