Mangaluru, June 10, 2023: Pilikula Biological Park, managed by Pilikula Development Authority, will be handed over to the Forest Department for better management.
Dakshina Kannada (DK) Deputy Commissioner and Authority Chairman Ravi Kumar M R has written to PDA Commissioner V Abhishek to expedite the process of handing over the zoo to the forest department by July 31. The DC, in his letter to the Commissioner dated June 7, said the zoo should be handed over to Forest Department for better maintenance as recommended by Central Zoo Authority (CZA) and in accordance with the directions of the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) and Chief Wildlife Warden, Karnataka.
“The Technical Committee of CZA, in its 106th meeting held on September 27, 2022, renewed the licence of Pilikula Biological Park until December 1, 2025. While renewing the licence, the Deputy Inspector General of Forest, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF), Central Zoo Authority (CZA), New Delhi, had recommended the transfer of the zoo to the forest department in its report. “...The director in charge of the zoo does not have an adequate financial delegation to manage the day-to-day business of the zoo efficiently,” the report observed.
“The Pilikula Development Authority is not sufficiently sensitive to the needs of the zoo. It will make much better sense to transfer the zoo to Karnataka Forest Department for better coordination to address human-wildlife conflict, better sensitivity towards the need of captive animals and eventually better management with the help of a Director who is appropriately delegated,” the report had mentioned. In his letter dated May 30, 2023, the principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), had urged the DC to take steps on transferring the zoo to the Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF), Mangaluru.
Ravi Kumar M R, quoting Pilikula Development Authority Director H Jayaprakash Bhandary, said that the zoo, which has more than 1,200 animals, comes under the ‘large zoo’ category. The management of the zoo and taking care of animals had become difficult due to a paucity of funds. Forest officials have the expertise of managing a zoo and thus Pilikula Biological Park should be handed over to the Forest Department before any damages are inflicted on the lives of captive animals, visitors and caretakers, he added.
Once it is handed over to the Forest Department, the grants from the government, the fee collected from visitors, and support extended by MRPL, MSEZ and other organisations, can be utilised in a better way, sources said.
The zoo does not get any budgetary allocation from the government and is managed through donations, gate collections, funds raised through CSR funds of corporates and animal adoption initiative.
Courtesy: Deccan Herald