Tourists throng zoo to witness rare animals in Himachal

Kufri (Himachal Pradesh) [India], Jan 1 (ANI): A zoo in Himachal Pradesh's Kufri hill station, home to several endangered species of birds and animals, is attracting visitors in large numbers.
Situated 9,000 feet above the sea level, the Himalayan Nature Park is giving people a chance to see some of the very rare species up close.
Most of the species at the zoo, like Himalayan Tahr and musk deers etc, are seriously endangered due to hunting or loss of their habitats, particularly breeding sites.
Special care is provided to such species, ensuring that they can survive in a high altitude environment.
"This park houses many endangered species and has many Schedule I species also, like Himalayan Tahr, western tragopans, leopards and gorals, even musk deer also, we have recently procured," said Rohit Sharma, a veterinarian at Himalayan Nature Park said on Friday.
"And while you go through the park, you can enjoy the flora as well as the fauna and it is the only zoo where you can see the nature very close by and enjoy the trail also," he added.
Bird and animals included in Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act are protected and the highest penalties have been prescribed to punish any offences like hunting etc.
Awestruck visitors were seen clicking pictures of their favourites.
The zoo is also a hit among tourists coming from all across the country.
"I saw a lot of different species that I have never seen before. Leopard was my favourite. I could see the leopard very close by and the peasantry was also really good with a lot of varieties and the Tahr and the bear, they were really good," said Rani Chandra, a tourist from Chennai.
The zoo authorities hope to conserve the endangered species and help people understand the wildlife better. (ANI)

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