LAHORE: Despite having lived in Lahore for the past 15 years, I did not find out till just recently that the Lahore Zoo is among the 10 oldest zoos in the world. Such ignorance regarding significant facts about the city and its landmarks is common among Lahoriites.
The Lahore Zoo was initially a small aviary that was donated by Lal Mohindra Ram to the Lahore Muncipial Corporation in 1872, which makes it the seventh oldest zoo in the world. In terms of area, it is spread over 24 acres that could possibly make it the world’s smallest zoo. The zoo falls under the Punjab Wildlife and Parks Department but raises its own revenue through ticketing.
It is disappointing to note that the zoo is not internationally recognised among the 10 oldest zoos in the world, with its deputy director stating that the zoo administration was still in the process of sending relevant details to the international authorities concerned, after which it can be officially accorded the status of being among the 10 oldest zoos. Media is a powerful tool and I feel that it should do its bit to educate people about the significance of this site.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2012.
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