Government to provide Zoo with Rs 20M to feed animals

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The Government will provide Rs 20 million for the next five months to feed the animals at the Dehiwala Zoo.

In a press release, the Ministry of Wildlife and Forest Conservation Mahinda Amaraweera said that due to the current economic crisis, there was a shortage of funds to feed the animals at the Dehiwala Zoo.

It was revealed that the Court had also assigned to the Dehiwala Zoo the responsibility of maintaining a large number of elephants, especially those with case materials, at a cost of around Rs 45 million annually.

As a result, the money allocated to feed the animals at the Dehiwala Zoo was running out and the number of local and foreign visitors was declining, which also affected the daily income.

In this regard, the Minister Amaraweera requested the Treasury to provide financial assistance to provide animal feed for the next five months of 2022.

This was discussed during the special meeting with the Minister of Agriculture who visited the Dehiwala Zoo on 24 June to inquire the problems at the Zoo.

The issue of obtaining fuel for vehicles to feed the animals was also discussed at this meeting and accordingly the Minister had a telephone discussion with the Chairman of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and took action to arrange a programme to supply fuel to the zoo.

The Minister said that the Government will not starve any of the animals in the zoos and will take steps to provide the necessary solutions to the problems of the people in the country through maximum intervention despite the economic problems. The Minister also instructed to take steps to resume the animal exchange programme which was halted due to the Covid 19 epidemic. (AK)