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The Zoological Park

Published: June 24, 2013 | 4:18 pm
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The project of relocating the Tbilisi Zoo is once again up and running. The mayor had first come up with this initiative a few years ago. However, public talks on this subject had died down in recent times. Towards the end of last year, there were even reports in the media about the scrapping of the project. The mayor’s office had assigned the works to a number of companies. One of these, a German company, had planned to use 240 hectares of space to construct a new zoological park, but according to unofficial sources, the costs of this undertaking would have reached the 500 000 000 GEL mark. The relocation project was actively opposed by the Labourists, who have held a number of press conferences on this issue. According to Shalva Natelashvili’s party, the Mayor Gigi Ugulava had planned to provide various companies with building permits for the Vere Ravine, where the zoo is currently located. At the time, the issue of relocation was viewed favourably by the zoo’s administration itself.
TV3 has enquired about the fate of the zoo, and the costs of its relocation. According to the head of the Ecology Department at the Mayor’s office Giorgi Korkashvili, Tbilisi will indeed have a new zoological park soon. He states that a sum of 40 to 50 million GEL has already been put aside for the project, but has so far declined to elaborate on precisely where the funds have come from.
According to Mr Korkashvili, the new project has been designed following Western examples, and that an area of 40 hectares near the Tbilisi Sea has been allocated to it, where the construction of the new cages will begin in the immediate future. Mr Korkashvili also states that the introduction of various businesses to the hitherto undeveloped lands in the Tbilisi Sea area will greatly benefit this part of the city. As for the issue regarding the future use of the lands where the zoo is currently located, the head of the Ecology Department insists that this area will retain its character as a recreational zone.

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