Amirthi zoo in Vellore reopens, visitors happy

COVID-19 safety precautions have been put in place, zoo officials said

After a gap of over seven months, the Amirthi Small Zoo in Vellore was thrown open to the public on Thursday. Though COVID-19 safety precautions were in place, visitors were happy to walk in.

“Vellore has very few places to visit with family, and the zoo is one such place. Since it was closed for a long time, we were disappointed. My children were happy to see the animals again,” said S. Kumaresan, a visitor.

The zoo was established in 1967 and is spread across 25 hectares of land. There are a total of 190 animals, birds and snakes, as well as crocodiles, tortoises, star tortoises.

“Visitors have to wash their legs in potassium permanganate before entering the zoo. A temperature check is done, and those without masks are not allowed to walk into the zoo. Physical distancing is enforced at the zoo and our staff are on rounds to detect any violation,” said S. Dhandapani, forest range officer.

The meat and vegetables given to the animals are also washed properly and all the enclosures are sanitised. On an average around 400 people visit the zoo on weekdays and 1,000 on weekends. During the festival season, the number shoots up to 25,000. The monthly revenue is around ₹1 lakh. “People from Vellore, Tiruvannamalai, Ranipet and Tirupathur come to this zoo,” he added.

Over 100 people visited the zoo on Thursday. “In the coming days, the number will increase. The canteen will also be opened in a few days,” added Mr. Dhandapani.

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