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West Bengal: Virtual tour of zoo to help beat lockdown blues

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Looking for a way to beat the lockdown blues? Take a virtual tour of Alipore zoo sitting at home.
The authorities of Alipore Zoological Gardens launched an app on Thursday to help people take virtual tour of the zoo. The app — Kolkata Zoo — was launched at the zoo by forest minister Rajeev Banerjee. The name of the app will later be changed.

The visitors, though, will have to wait till the situation normalises to have a glimpse of animals born in the zoos across the state during the lockdown period. Among the new guests is a zebra calf that was born at Alipore zoo. Experts and vets, meanwhile, have warned about environmental impact on the newborns in case of a prolonged lockdown.

State zoo authority member secretary, V K Yadav, said the app would have a map, through which one can explore his/her favourite sites inside the zoo.

“It will offer panoramic view of the zoo. One can get to check both photos and videos of their favourite animals in their enclosures. There’s also a feature of voiceover — if one is exploring the tiger enclosure through this app, he/she will have the option of choosing the voiceover that will give them an insight about the animal,” Yadav added.

The minister, on Thursday, also made announcements about the new arrivals in the zoos and mini-zoos across the state. The biggest attraction among them is the Mishmi takin calf born to one of the two females brought to Darjeeling zoo in January 2019 from Berlin. “Five Mishmi takins, three males and two females, were brought to the state zoo from Tierpark Berlin under an exchange programme,” said Yadav.

Also, a zebra calf was born in Alipore zoo, taking the total count of the animal at zoo to nine. Banerjee added that a Himalyan goral calf was also born at the Darjeeling zoo recently. “A leopard cat has also given birth to three kittens in the Hills zoo,” added Banerjee.

“The fact that the zoos don’t have any visitor now will not have much impact on the new animals. Because, when an animal is born in a zoo it gets used to the crowd. But, if the lockdown is extended, it will have an impact on them. In that case, they will have to suddenly get accustomed to visitors’ rush when the zoo reopens,” said veterinary DN Banerjee, who was earlier associated with Alipore zoo. According to him, there will also be impact as far as pollution is concerned. “Since vehicle movement is almost suspended, pollution level is low now. When the lockdown is lifted, the new guests will have to adjust themselves with the pollution,” he added.

Yadav added that they would make zoo website more dynamic by introducing features like feedback, newsletters and options to upload pictures.

 

Source: Times of India

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