On one hand, the addition of four more battery-operated vehicles to the Mysore Zoo's fleet of five such vehicles means that more tourists, particularly the elderly, little children and those pressed for time will now be able to fully see the Mysore Zoo and on the other hand, we are sending a message that these vehicles are eco-friendly, non-polluting and being soundless do not distress animals, said K.B. Markandeya, Mysore Zoo Executive Director.

Speaking to SOM, he said the idea is to encourage more people to go in for environment-friendly vehicles instead of petrol or diesel vehicles. On being asked whether these vehicles would also be used for conservation education trips for visitors, Markandeya said that as of now, this had not been thought of. "We already have a Zoo Outreach Programme apart from the regular environmental education programmes. But we may think of more such options in the future."

The battery-operated vehicle is silent and it can turn in tight corners with effortless ease. The natural tendency of prey animals is to stray to the far side whenever visitors crowd against the railings. But when the viewer is in the vehicle, he or she can view without the animal becoming distressed and moving away.

The seating capacity is between 7 and 14 and each vehicle covers 3.5 kms in an hour. The tariff is Rs. 80 for an adult and Rs. 40 for children and seniors.

The battery-powered vehicles were launched yesterday by Nanjundaswamy, Chairman, Karnataka Zoo Authority.

Later, Nanjundaswamy accompanied by M.N. Jayakumar, Member Secretary, Markandeya and others took a ride in the vehicle.

According to Markandeya, some 300 persons make use of the battery-powered vehicles everyday fetching the Mysore Zoo a revenue of Rs. 1.2 lakh daily.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore