The Management of the National Children Park and Zoo, Abuja has called on the Federal Government for assistance by providing more animals and facilities to render attractive services to fun seekers.
Aminu Mohammad, the Manager of the Park, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja.
According to Mohammad, patronage is high during festivities, “but could be better when more animals and facilities are available.
“However, we still need facilities to satisfy our visitors in terms of animals collection and facilities for children to enjoy themselves.
“On the landscaping, we need to do more so that at least the visitors can really enjoy their visit.
“The government should help us, because you can see that we are lacking facilities; we need more animals so that visiting the zoo will be interesting.”
On the dilapidated nature of the zoo and animals as observed by a NAN correspondent, Mohammad said it was normal to have births and deaths in animal collections.
“May be the last time you came here, some of the animals like the camel and others were sick; we have done the needful to repair the zoo and treat the animals,” he said.
He explained that the zoo was supposed to have social group of animals.
According to him, to have a sustainable population of animals, there is need to have them in social groups so that at least they will be reproducing, even if they die, there will be replacement.
Mohammed said: “So birth, sickness and deaths are normal, but when they are sick, we need the needful; we collect blood sample to ensure that the animals are treated. The few ones we have are in good shape.”
Mohammad emphasised that the zoo was run on a sustainable plan.
He added the management did not get any special fund from the government to run the facilities and activities in the zoo.
He said: “What we generate as revenue is what we use to pay our staff and do everything you see here. That is why you don’t see major development.
“But even with that, you can see that we have Lions now and we are constructing a Lion house. We also have Hyenas now; we have made a place for the Hyenas even though it’s not complete.
“We have started renovating some of the animal facilities like where we use to have the snakes. If you go there you will see that we have upgraded it with the little funds we have.
“So you can see, if we have substantial funds from government to put the place in order, we can generate more visitors and revenue which means more facilities and activities.
“We therefore beg the government to come to our aid in terms of special funds to carry out more upgrades and get more animals to encourage visitors from far and wide.”
Mohammed reiterated that patronage during the Christmas and New Year celebration was high, adding: “If we have more facilities, we believe we can have more visitors.”
NAN reports the zoo was filled with fun seekers to enjoy the New Year Day celebration.
Some of them came into to the zoo with cooked foods, drinks and mat to have fun.
While some children and fun seekers were busy playing in swings and other facilities, others were going round the animal cages to have a glimpse and take photographs.