Meghalaya’s Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma, confirmed on Saturday that the new zoo in Umtrew, Ri-Bhoi, currently under construction, will soon be ready for tourists.
This announcement came after the Chief Minister reviewed the progress of the zoo, for which the foundation stone was laid in October 2019. He has directed officials to complete all remaining work and secure the necessary recognition from the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) by June 30.
Chief Minister Sangma further recommended engaging local or private parties for managing ancillary services such as ticketing, cafeteria operations, souvenir shops, food stalls, and vehicle services. “After receiving clearances from the Government of India and the Central Zoo Authority, we will open the gates for visitors. Our aim is to enhance tourism by introducing facilities like trekking paths, a ropeway, a children’s park, and an interpretation centre within the zoo premises,” he said.
The zoo, being built on an approximately 72-hectare land at an estimated cost of Rs 35 crore, is part of a significant tourism development project. The first phase includes the construction of 15 animal enclosures, a Visitor’s Plaza, Cafeteria, Veterinary Clinic, Feed Store, and Main Gate. Upon completion, the zoo is set to house a variety of animals including barking deer, sambar deer, hog deer, serow, jackal, fox, Himalayan black bear, jungle cat, civet cat, leopard cat, leopard, clouded leopard, hoolock gibbon, stump-tailed macaque, and Assamese macaque.