Tirupati, April 13: Area-wise it is Asia’s biggest Zoo and is named after the Lord of Seven Hills. Spread over an area of 2,212 hectares of natural forest, Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park is all geared up to entertain the summer visitors.
It boasts of a wide variety of animals including 75 species of animals, birds and reptiles. In all, there are 1,008 animals. Unlike other zoos, SV Zoo Park has been developed on a mythological theme. It highlights the role of wild animals in mythology. SV Zoo Park, which has not witnessed any notable development since its inception in 1987, is now adding feather after feather to its tail, after P Ramachandra Reddy, who hails from the district, took over as Forest and Environment Minister.
Earlier, the visitors used to return from the zoo with pale faces, as they were not only dissatisified but also tired, with going round the zoo on foot. Though private vehicles are allowed inside the premises for a price, after paying the entry ticket, majority of the people are not in a state to hire the vehicles and are left with no option but to walk. But, the introduction of a train and battery-operated golf carts enable the visitors to round up the entire zoo and watch all the species only for a marginal charge of Rs 20 per a person.
Some of the salient features of zoo are the recently introduced Lion Safari. The beautiful and colourful winged associates of man, the birds, do have befitting place in the zoo and they include Pelicans, Ducks, Parakeets, Macaws, Peacocks, etc..
The creation of herbivores safari, ropeway, mono rail and others are on the cards and minister Ramachandra Reddy said development of zoological parks in the district including SV Zoo would be taken up at a cost of Rs 200 crore.
Lack of proper transportation facilities for reaching the zoo from the town is a major disappointing feature. The SV Zoo advisory committee, having the Forest Minister as chairman and TTD Executive Officer as a member, which met recently wanted the TTD to arrange a Sudarshan Counter at the Zoo for the convenience of the visitors and to extend the TTD free bus facility to SV Zoo.