A new zoo “The Zambezi River. Africa” will open in Kazan at the end of December. Presently, the relocation of animals to new enclosures has already begun, where they adapt. Many inhabitants will appear in the zoo by the aid of sponsors. The mayor of Kazan Ilsur Metshin thanked them and noted that the opening of the zoo will be a wonderful gift for residents and guests of the city for the New year.
“We have built a lot of technically complicated facilities, but the zoo is quite a different construction site”
Construction of “The Zambezi River” began in 2015, Director of MBIC “Kazan zoo” Fanis Nurmukhametov reminded. “The work was difficult, because this experience was new for the management of the zoo, as well as for the designers and builders” - he said. “The deadline had to be postponed, because the main thing was not to open an exclusive recreation area, but to create conditions for animals as close as possible to their habitat”.
During the construction, the work plans were regularly coordinated with the animal supervisors, and zoo staff visited the assigned areas daily and made their own adjustments.
The exterior of the expositions of the new zoo, as well as all its facilities, is designed in the African style. There are recreation areas, children's playgrounds, a sports complex and a climbing wall. It’s possible to rest and dine in the restaurant with an outdoor observation area, said the Director of the zoo. Ramps and Braille type signs have been installed for people with disabilities.
Today, the landscaping of the new territory has been completed: 300 trees, 4 thousand 800 shrubs and 14 thousand perennial plants have been planted, which occupy half of the territory of the zoo.
“We have built many technically complicated facilities for the international events. Among them are the stadium “Kazan arena”, the Water sports Palace, exhibition center “Kazan Expo”. But the zoo is quite a different construction site, - commented the mayor of Kazan Ilsur Metshin. – We have faced a large number of requirements of the international animal protection organizations which we carried out step by step. Yes, we had to wait a long time, but given the scale of the project, this is understandable. The new zoo will be a real gift for residents and guests of the city".
22 out of 34 planned animal species have been delivered to the zoo: hamadryas, ostriches, lions and blue wildebeest
Some animal species that planned to be imported are not represented in any of the Russian zoos, F.Nurmukhametov noted.
Today, according to him, work is still underway to eliminate the remarks of international coordinators of the programs for the rare animal species preservation.
At the moment, 22 out of 34 planned animal species have been delivered to the zoo: hamadryas, ostriches, leopard tortoise, Brazza’s monkeys, meerkats, damans, dik-diks, lions, blue wildebeest and others. Another 8 species will be delivered at the end of the month - flamingos, griffon vultures, crowned cranes, ground hornbill, elephant bird, zebras, cheetahs and chimpanzees. The zoo will become fully inhabited in 2020-2021, the speaker reminded.
The relocation of the animals to the new enclosures, where they undergo adaptation, began on October 30. Meerkats, damans, crocodiles and griffon vultures have already moved into spacious comfortable enclosures, and on November 7 the largest animal of the zoo – hippo Zacharia was relocated.
The loyalty program “A friend of the zoo”, which was used to raise funds for the purchase of animals, helped to create a unique collection of animals. As F.Nurmukhametov told, 33 enterprises became sponsors of purchasing 232 animals. “This is the unique example of creation a collection with the help of sponsors in Russia", – F.Nurmukhametov noted.
There are sources of funding for all animals, except for the family of African elephants, the speaker noted. In total, the zoo plans to purchase four elephants.
“We thank everyone who participated in the creation of the zoo. First of all, the President Rustam Minnikhanov, colleagues from the government and all concerned representatives of the business community – I.Metshin said. Honestly, when Rustam Minnikhanov instructed me to take the lead in raising funds for animals, I have felt concerned. But here we are - 232 rare African animals are in the zoo, so a journey of thousands miles begins with a single step. Together with our President, we are able to perform such tasks".
It is important to observe all rules of animals’ transportation to minimize stress for them, the head of the city added. “We need to approach carefully the period of adaptation – he noted. - I am sure that after the opening of the zoo, residents of Kazan, regardless of the age, will take an opportunity to visit the zoo”.