11.03.2005 General News

Accra, Kumasi zoos to be made autonomous - Wildlife

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Accra, March 11, GNA - Plans are under way to renovate the Accra and Kumasi Zoos to make them more visitor-friendly, cost effective and attractive to promote eco-tourism.

As result the management structure of the both Zoos would be placed in the hands of independent voluntary bodies to make them autonomous from the Game and Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission. The Zoos are currently operating at a loss.

Briefing Journalists on Friday at the on-going Industry and Technology Exhibition at the Ghana International Trade Fair Centre, Mr Jacob Oti Awere, Head of the Commercial Development Unit of the Game and Wildlife Division, said the programme would also include improving the stock of animal species at the Zoos.

He said even though zoos all over the world were not ran for profit, the losses being incurred at the country's zoos were untenable, hence the need to reconsider their management.

Another issue to be considered, he said, was the implementation of alternative methods of feeding the animals, as this constituted a large chunk of the zoo's expenditure.

On the relocation of the Accra Zoo to either Achimota Forest or Shai Hills, he said, the decision had not been finalised but indicated that what needed to be done was to find a more suitable location to set up a zoo of an international standard where the animals would be kept in an environment close to their natural setting.

Mr Awere said the Wildlife Department itself was also currently undergoing restructuring to make it more business oriented and financially self-sufficient.

This, he said, was being done through investment promotion in order to attract the private sector into mainstream tourism. In a related development, Ms Gloria Aba Aikins, a Wildlife Ranger, conducted Journalists round the 51-km square Shai Hills Game Reserve where she briefed them on the current state of affairs at the site. 11 March 05

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