PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister Pervez Khattak on Monday inaugurated what the provincial government has touted as KP’s ‘first zoo’.
Two years in the making, the zoo had been one of the most long-awaited development projects in the province, featuring lions, monkeys and different bird species.
The idea of setting up a zoo in Peshawar was first floated during the previous government, when a group of students from Beaconhouse School System’s Khyber Campus, Hayatabad had collected signatures to petition the then chief minister Amin Haider Hoti to announce the construction of a zoo in Peshawar.
The Peshawar Development Authority had offered to provide land in Regi Lalma for Rs240 million, which was beyond the allocated funds for the zoo. Another site, Dheri Zardad, along the Nowshera-Charsadda Motorway, was also not suitable as it was not easily accessible.
The idea of establishing zoo was subsequently dropped.
In November 2016, the PTI government finally found a suitable site for the establishment of a zoo in the city near the Pakistan Forest Institute. The site was not only touted as accessible and suitable but was also bigger than the Lahore Zoo’s covered area, which is over 24 acres.