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22.08.2002 General News

Accra Zoo to Be Relocated

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Prof. Kasim Kasanga, Minister of Lands and Forestry cut the sod for the formal opening of the first "Centre for Endangered Primates" with the German Ambassador to Ghana, Mr. Harald Locschner, at the Accra Zoo yesterday. The project, which has been initiated by the West African Primate Conservation Action (WAPCA), an interest group of European Zoos, will house and provide safe shelter for endangered mammals, especially monkeys. The event was part of a ceremony organized by the Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ), an NGO which supports and promotes the country's zoos, to launch its 10th anniversary with the theme, "10years of FONZ: Educating the Youth on the Environment." A number of activities formed part of the launch. The Barclays Bank Animal Care Clinic at the Accra Zoo was officially opened by Mr. Kobina Quansah, Managing Director of Barclays. Dr. Solomon Quartey, National Coordinator of the United Nations Development Program's (UNDP) Global Environment Facility (GEF) cut the tape to open the Accra Zoo Conservation Education Centre, a GEF sponsored project to stock the zoo's library with books and other educational materials. Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, Okyehene opened the FONZ Gift Shop which is located on the premises of the Accra Zoo.

Prof. Kasim Kasanga said his ministry is discussing the possibility of moving the Accra Zoo from its present location to either Achimota Forest or to the Shai Hills.

He said the government was worried about limited space for the animals at the zoo since animals like elephants and primates require spacious and natural environs to live in.

Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin called for more vigorous action to protect nature and asked people to refrain from acts which degrade our natural environment.

The Okyehene was not happy about the fact that about two hundred thousand acres of land had being destroyed by human activity which inevitably will lead to starvation and death.

FONZ was formed in 1992 and seeks to promote and support national zoos by providing funds for recreation and conservation matters.

The first President of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, founded the Accra Zoo in 1961. The zoo is being managed by the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission under the Ministry of Lands and Forestry. There are over 50 species at the zoo, including primates, carnivores, reptiles, rodents, herbivores and birds.

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