Pilikula Nisarga Dhama at Moodushedde village in Mangalore taluk may be the second largest zoo in the state, but among all five zoos of Karnataka, Pilikula was the first to get approval of the Central Zoo Authority for its masterplan 2010-2020.
This month, the Pilikula Nisarga Dhama got double recognition. It has been renamed ‘Dr Shivarma Karanth Pilikula Nisarga Dhama’. Also, it has got the approval of the 10-year perspective masterplan, which will not only extend financial support to the zoo but also put it on the higher platform of development.
“What is important is that the zoo will now be known after a Jnanapith awardee, Dr Shivarama Karanth, who has worked for conservation of wildlife, environment and spent years developing scientific temperament among children through his books,” deputy commissioner of Dakshina Kannada Chennappa Gowda, who is also the chairman of the Pilikula Nisarga Dhama Society, told DNA.
The CZA member secretary BS Bonal has sent the document of the masterplan and the various maps, duly approving the masterplan, which comes as boost to the development of the zoo.
But the masterplan has other components too, having international characteristics. Former executive director of the PNDS, JR Lobo, said: “The larger part of the masterplan includes creating a regional science city in the Pilikula Nisarga Dhama. It will include a regional science centre, country’s first 3D planetarium, eco-tourism centre, walk-in aviary, walk-in aquarium and many other components which will be built on international standard.”
He said it would be built at a cost of `150-200 crores. DNA learnt that similar projects were coming up in West Bengal and Punjab and the one in Pilikula will be the first one in the South.
Approval of the masterplan 2010-2020 has given the wildlife enclosure a definite edge for conservation of Western Ghats endemic species, especially the birds, fish, reptiles and primates. Director of the wildlife enclosure of the Dr Shivarama Karanth Biological Park, HJ Bhandary, said: “There is a lot of scope for development of the zoo. We have already begun work on a walk-in aviary built on the lines of Karanji Kere in Mysore, but it would be bigger (20,000 square feet). The special project of conservation of the freshwater fish species endemic to Western ghats will be given a fillip.”