A new Chimpanzee house has been constructed for Champa and Chimipu at the Central Zoo. This is after nearly five years since the chimpanzee pair were rescued by authorities from wildlife traffickers and brought for care at the Central Zoo.
Inauguration of the facility, coinciding with the Earth Day celebrations on 22 April, was made by the Ministry of Forests and Environment (MOFE) Secretary and NTNC board member Dr Pem Narayan Kandel, together with the NTNC Member Secretary Mr Sharad Chandra Adhikary in the presence of senior government officials, conservation organization leaders and wildlife supporters.
At the time when the chimpanzees were brought to the Central Zoo, Chimpu, the male chimpanzee, was about three months old weighing just 3.5 kg, and Champa, the female, was six months and 4 kg. Under the zoo's care, today they are about 21 and 24 kg respectively. The need for a bigger facility to ensure their sound growth and professional care was conveyed by NTNC Member Secretary Adhikary.
Designed following intricate detail, the chimpanzee house covers an area of 4,140 sq ft with three rooms and an outdoor garden. Rooms are equipped with four air conditioners and have wooden flooring keeping in mind temperature requirements. The holding area is equipped with toughened glass that allows for favorable visitor viewing, and the facility is enriched with extra amenities like swings, poles and activity platforms to enable healthy physical and emotional development.
The new facility is the outcome of support received from many. MOFE's Department of Environment and the Nepal Electricity Authority have extended significant financial and technical contributions for this task. Individual support for the chimpanzee's one year caretaking expenses have already come from Prabhu Shumsher Ja. Ba. Ra. and Raji Rana Trust's Raji Rana who have further committed interest for their life-long adoption.
Addressing the event, MOFE Secretary Dr Kandel spoke about the growing expectations from the Central Zoo, not just in the areas of ex-situ conservation and wildlife education, but increasingly in being a leading national entity for wildlife rescue and rehabilitation. On average the Central Zoo rescues over three hundred animals yearly.
Dr Kandel also shared good news about Nepal's latest land cover map results, officially updated by MOFE on Earth Day. The latest figure shows 45.39% forest cover in Nepal, an indication of the success and credibility of Nepal's global conservation commitments.