Hyderabad Zoo's revenue rises post COVID lockdown
DECCAN CHRONICLE | Aarti Kashyap
Hyderabad: The compassion and generosity of individuals, wildlife enthusiasts, and corporates has aided in the smooth operation of the Nehru Zoological Park, which was facing a severe financial crisis during the Covid-19-induced lockdown period.
According to zoo officials, the pandemic has caused problems for zoos by significantly reducing footfall, which has impacted revenues. The zoo, which had a period of zero revenue because of the lockdown from April 2020 to March 2021, is on the verge of reviving since it was opened to the public the previous year. The revenue has climbed to 80 per cent in the cycle from April 2021 to March 2022.
During the lockdown period, the zoo administration was able to manage the animals' diet, vaccination, deworming, and other maintenance tasks thanks to the "animal adoption scheme," under which people and organisations can make donations on a recurring basis. The zoo administrators claim that during the lockdown, when the zoo was closed to the public and no revenue was earned, numerous new organisations stepped forward to support the zoo management.
"We experienced a significant financial crisis and difficulties keeping the animals and the zoo in good condition because there was a general ban on all activity during Covid. However, a lot of businesses, organisations, and people approached us to show their support for the animals and voice their concern," said S. Rajashekar, curator at the zoo..
The donation increased from `78 lakh to `1.38 crore between April 2020 and March 2021 as more people started to care for animals. The revenue was less than `50 lakh before the Covid crisis. Currently, the zoo sees up to 14,000 visitors on weekends and roughly 2,500 visitors every day during the week. Before Covid, there were up to 30,000 visitors on vacations and more than 3,000 everyday throughout the workweek.
"Given that our 80 per cent revenue is back on track, we are confident that we will make up the remaining 20 per cent in this year," Rajashekar stated.
Meanwhile, Rakesh Mohan Dobriyal, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, had completed the guidelines for the master plan to address the flooding issue brought on by the overflowing of the Mir Alam Tank. Officials stated that they are taking necessary steps to stop floods near the safari.
"We are working on the estimates and sanctioning of the plans so that we don’t face flooding situation near the safari," an official said. He said the zoo currently has 2,000 animals, representing 202 distinct species. Interestingly, the zoo is home to two tortoises that are as old as 123 and 92 years. One Asiatic lion cub was born six months ago.