A proposal put forward to move the Dehiwala zoo has gained the attention of the Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunge. According to sources, a proposal has been made to move the zoo from its current location to Kahapola, Piliyandala.
The Minister has noted that keeping animals cages is an archaic practice and therefore a more modern method that is not harmful to the animals should be adopted.
It has also been revealed that the cost of maintaining the animals runs up to Rs. 40 million monthly while another Rs. 6 million is spent on salaries and overtime allowances of the staff.
The Minister has instructed the officials to compile a report on the Zoo to be submitted to the cabinet. In addition, Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga has stated that he hopes to prepare a guideline on the care of tame elephants and on providing them for processions and submit it to the Cabinet for approval soon.
Meanwhile, Animal rights activists allege that the government is attempting to move the Zoo and its animals’ in an ad hoc manner to reclaim the land for a development project. The zoo, officially known as the National Zoological Gardens was founded in the current location in the year 1936.