Zoo dismisses calls for a move to Chickland

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    Officials at the Emperor Valley Zoo have dismissed calls to relocate to Chickland, saying it is just not feasible.

    Calls for the animals to be moved out of Port of Spain come in the wake of noise concerns, most notably the Independence Day fireworks display, which officials blame for the deaths of a kangaroo and several birds.

    According to a release issued by the Zoological Society of T&T, a site in Chickland was already considered and deemed unsuitable for this purpose when the issue first arose several years ago.

    It says Cabinet recommended a detailed feasibility study, which was completed in April 2009 by Lee Young and Partners, in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism.

    It adds that the site was not recommended for the establishment of a Zoological Park.

    Then late 2009, the ZSTT accepted an offer from one of its members jointly with the community-based Manatee Conservation Trust, for a 360-acre parcel of agricultural land in Brigand Hill, Manzanilla for an offsite facility.

    This Brigand Hill facility is said to be operational and serves to house surplus animals from the Emperor Valley Zoo, along with seized and confiscated animals from the illegal wildlife trade and other animals in need of rehabilitation.

    Officials say the facility also provides food supplies for the zoo animals, as it is planted with fruit trees and contains lakes with fresh water fishes.

    Following the recent animal deaths, the Zoo has called for a ban on all fireworks in Trinidad and Tobago.