Guidelines issued for reopening of zoos in Odisha, number of visitors capped

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government today issued guidelines for reopening of zoos and deer parks in the State. For large zoo, the number of visitors has been capped at 1500 per day whereas for small zoo 750 visitors per day will be allowed. For Mini zoo/deer park the number of visitors will be limited to 300 per day.

This apart e-ticket booking will be given priority over manual ticket booking for contact less transaction.

In a letter, the PCCF (wildlife) asked zoos to take measures to ensure the safety of visitors, employees and animals. Do’s and Don’ts shall be displayed prominently at the zoo entrance and other strategic places.

Spaces shall be clearly marked on the ground to indicate safe distance where queues might form e.g. entry gate, bathroom access, indoor/walk through exhibits areas in the zoo.

The persons deployed by agencies/contractors/feed suppliers working in the zoo should follow all the COVID guidelines. They shall be screened at the entry gate with thermal scanner.

Visitors should avoid disposing mask inside zoo premises. Zoo management would take disinfection measures and additional cleaning of all facilities, especially elements that are touched frequently (like hand rails). Provisions of hand sanitizer and/or hand wash would be given at multiple strategic places by zoo authorities.

All the indoor exhibits like Zoo Aquarium, Walk Through Aviary, Nocturnal House and Zoo Library should be regulated for visitors.

The letter further read entry into zoo shall not be allowed without mask. Mask should be put by the visitors continuously from entry till exit.

The visitors allowed for entry into the zoo should not have cough, cold or fever. They should undergo body temperature scanning and any other such test insisted at entry gate. Persons with symptoms of cough, cold and fever shall not be allowed to enter inside the zoo even if they hold a valid entry ticket. Senior citizens and persons with infants shall be advised not to visit zoo.

All adults and children of seven years of age and older must have a mask or facial covering that covers the nose and mouth to enter the zoo. All visitors should pass through the medicated foot mat/whole body sanitizer/any such installations fixed at the zoo entrance. They should avoid carrying luggage, which needs a locker/cloak room facility.

The security personnel and the zoo staff engaged at entry gate and other areas inside the zoo premises should guide the visitors to avoid congregation and advise them to use hand wash/ sanitizer provided at different utility areas.

The letter further said visitors should neither spit nor chew tobacco and other prohibited products. Smoking inside zoo premises is also prohibited. Interaction between visitor and zoo staff should be minimal with social distance norms.

The staff frequently interacting with visitors such as staff at entry gate, ticket counter and toilet will wear face shield, gloves and mask. Canteen and cafeteria staff should follow social distancing norms. They are advised to serve food in disposable containers instead of utensils.

The zoo guides have to follow all safely guidelines and must wear mask and face shield and hand gloves while taking the visitors on zoo tour.

The zoo staff has to ensure that only two persons use such benches at a time and maintain social distancing.

Visitors are encouraged to carry their own drinking water and avoid bringing eatables with them to zoo.

Same guideline must be followed for visitors’ entry to State Botanical Garden, Nandankanan. Picnic is not allowed, the letter read.

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