Nandankanan Zoological Park celebrated its 64th Foundation Day on 29th, December 2023. Sri. Pradip Kumar Amat, the Hon’ble Minister of Forests, Environment and Climate change, Government of Odisha has graced the occasion as the chief guest. Sri Satyabrata Sahu, Additional Chief Secretary, Forests, Environment and Climate change, Government of Odisha, and Sri Susanta Nanda, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) and Chief Wildlife Warden, Odisha have also graced the occasion as guest of honour.
Dr Manoj V. Nair, Director, Nandankanan Biological Park welcomed the guests and other invited dignitaries. He presented the progress and management of the park for the financial year 2022-23. Prof. Sudarsan Maharana was felicitated with the “Life time commitment award for gharial conservation” in recognition to his outstanding contribution on gharial conservation; ex-situ and in-situ. Shri Dhanraj H. D., DFO, Keonjhar (T) Forest Division was felicitated as “Friends of Nandankanan” in appreciation to his support in ex-situ conservation programme for Indian pangolins in challenging times. In the said event, 18 staff of Nandankanan who rendered exceptional services during the year were felicitated in 14 categories with certificates and monetary prizes.
Further, best performers under citizen science programme, internship programme, and zoo volunteer, who contributed towards animal conservation efforts at the zoo were also felicitated. As per the announcement made last year by the Hon’ble Minister, one boy and one girl student who secured highest mark in 10th examination from Nandankanan High School have also been awarded with certificates and monetary prizes. Miss Priti Sulagna and Miss Shruti Sulagna students of Class 3 and 7 respectivelyhave been felicitated for their remarkable song on 8th Table incorporating the nature beauty of Odisha and message for its conservation & protection.
A theme song showcasing the good management practices at Nandankanan has been released by guests fitting to the occasion. The Annual Report for the year 2022-23 and a dedicated website for State Botanical Garden (www.statebotanicalgardenodisha.org) were released on the august occasion. This new website will provide comprehensive information regarding State botanical garden, ticket bookings, online registration for educational activities, and planning visit, ensuring a seamless visitor experience.
Further an App “NIMS (Nandankanan Integrated Monitoring System)” has been released by the chief guest to aid zoo management with real-time monitoring, animal health tracking, visitor management, and analytics for informed decision-making.
The chief guest flagged off 16 Nos. Rapid Response Team vehicles of Similipal Tiger Reserve at the State Botanical Garden entrance. Wallaby enclosure was inaugurated today. This modern enclosure has 340sqm nature-immersive exhibit area with species-specific enrichments to house Parma wallabies, two feeding cells, and provision of CCTV monitoring. A glass-fronted design, providing a unique viewing experience for visitors. This transformation from a previously neglected space to one of the best modern enclosures reflects our commitment to animal welfare.
Cassowaries and ostriches were released into the renovatedlarge naturalistic enclosures with enrichments to fulfil their biological needs, adding excitement to visitor experience.
In addition, tiger and lion cubs are elephant calvesare named which have finalised through online poll conducted by various social media platforms.
The 3 female cubs of tigress “Ankita” are named Shree, Trupti & Jayashree and the male cub named Amit. The male and female cubs of tigress “Rupa” are named Shiva and Amrita, respectively. The 3 female cubs of lioness “Bijli” are Shradha, Rima & Anamika and the male cub named Yuvraj. The male and female cubs of Lioness “Rewa” are named Shivam and Maya.
One male and one female Asian elephant calves rescued from Keonjhar Forest Division, Keonjhar in critical condition on 25-06-2023 and 24-11-2023 are being treated by Zoo veterinarians and under hand rearing. The male calf is named Abhi and the female as Aasha – signifying hope of its recovery from its critical injured condition.
The event was adorned by prominent dignitaries who are affiliated with the organization, along with other guests such as representatives from print and electronic media, visitors, local residents, and zoo personnel. Mr. Sanath Kumar N., Deputy Director of Nandankanan Zoological Park, presented a vote of thanks to everyone who attended the event.
Two new gardens have been inaugurated at the State Botanical Garden.
The Hydrophyte Garden with a captivating Hydrophyte gallery inaugurated today, showcasing around 225 hydrophyte species, including 44 water lilies and lotus types. Many of these species mirror the rich biodiversity of the nearby Kanjia lake, home to over 40 hydrophyte varieties.
Bambusetum of State Botanical Garden established with a 4.4-acre exhibits 70 species which is largest of its kind in Odisha. This garden featuring a waterfall and stream immersed in the natural landscape will mesmerize visitors. For improving visitor experience this garden has bamboo gazebos, three view-points showing the beauty of this place and a unique Laterite amphitheatre.