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Our World Together

Bring Mundawanga Zoo and Botanical Gardens Back to Life

By Kbwhighway

We would at times sneak out of class at Parklands School in Chilanga to go to Mundawanga Zoo and Botanical Gardens to watch animals, swim and walk through the gardens.
It was off-course unacceptable to skip class and it is something a parent that I am today cannot tolerate from his children but being nutty kids that we were nothing would stop us from an occasional obsession of visiting the Zoo and Botanical Gardens.

It was a place of sweet tranquility and full of succor to people who truly needed to refresh their minds and even re-energise their physicality.

My friend Patrick Chanda, son of Major Alick Chanda who was then Manager of the Mundawanga Zoo and Botanical Gardens with other friends would frequent the Zoo and the garden and take a dive into the sparkling pool.Mundawanga Environmental Park Adventure Swimming
On several occasions we would find the monkeys have invaded Major Chanda’s house and displaced several household items out of their usual place. Major Chanda’s family had been accustomed to living and coexisting with their neighbours in the Zoo whose uninvited visits were most welcome.

Major Chanda arguably is according to my thinking and rating the best ever living Zambian and one of the world’s greats in handling sneaks. I think many Zambians would remember watching him on Zambia Broadcasting Services television the forerunner of Zambia’s current national television playing with dangerous sneaks. He would even milk the venom from a live puff adder into a wineglass and drink it, with no ill effects.

But over the years, Mundawanga Zoo and Botanical Gardens has waned in its glory and can be best described as almost being a shell. It is no longer a marvel to people like me who knew what it was thirty or forty years ago. The animals have depleted. The last time I took my children to show them my former school Parklands, I extended their formalisation tour to the Zoo and Botanical Gardens. What I found there was saddening. The animals were thin and limited species are what has remained of the once highly acclaimed Mundawanga.

I have no doubt that most Zambians have welcomed the news as reported by ZANIS that the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) has with immediate effect taken over operations of Mundawanga Zoo and Botanical Gardens.

But ZAWA should not just inform the nation of the termination of the Tourism Concession Agreement (TCA) by Mundawanga Trust that has been running the botanical gardens since 1998. It should also explain to the nation what happed to the elephants such the one named Phoenix and other animals that pulled crowds to the Zoo. I do understand that they too die, but why were they not restocked if at all they died?

There are many question begging answers as to what led to the termination of TCA by Mundawanga Trust. Was it because ZAWA was interfering in the operations of Mundawanga Trust? Was it because ZAWA was not pleased with the management of Mundawanga Zoo and Botanical Gardens by Mundawanga Trust?
I have no doubt that Zambians want a Mundawanga Zoo and Botanical Gardens that showcases what we have in our National Parks both small and large wildlife as long as it is tameable. We want the sneaks, bears and the different species of birds spread across this great country back into the Zoo.

It is every Zambian’s hope that ZAWA ‘s recommendations to government through the Ministry of Tourism and Arts to take over operations of the facility will come with the desirable support to resuscitate this facility to reflect this country’s true tourism potential even as we would welcome the restocking of exotic wildlife from other countries.

ENDS

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October 1, 2014 - Posted by | Self Xpression | , , ,

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