I. Metshin about the exhibition “Zambezi River” and the reconstruction of the Kazan Zoo
Photo by Marat Muginov
of Tatarstan will be the first city in Russia with an African exposition of
animals in the Zoo.
not even imagine how difficult it is to implement such a project as the
“Zambezi River”. We have worked with the appraisal commissions of various
events, forums, competitions, congresses. We know that there are a lot of
requirements. There is a society of protection for each species of animals.
They are professionals and do not obey anyone and nothing but common sense and
a desire to protect animals. And it is right. We did not encounter such
requirements before. We do not decide when one or another part of the Zoo
opens, the animal welfare society does.
No one in
Russia has any experience in designing zoos with African animals. Therefore, a
lot of questions have arisen. We delayed the construction deadlines, but there
were reasons. We were confronted with things that had not yet passed. But we
did it. Now we need to finish the purchase, delivery, and adaptation of
animals. This is a science, and there are several provisions that regulate this
work. There is phasing in this process. It is also clearly regulated: which
animals are the first to be imported, and so on.
bringing animals from the African fauna will be carried out gradually. Now
about 41% of animals have already been delivered to Kazan. By the end of
October 2019, another 25-26% will be brought. In total, almost 70% of animals
will be here. We believe and work on it. We will do this gradually, with
maximum trepidation and protecting the animals, their mental health. It is
necessary that they come almost to their native environment.
that only African animals will live here. For example, an adult male African
elephant weighs 12 tons, and Asian one reaches 4-5 tons in weight, that is,
almost 3 times less. But we are not looking for easy ways and we are not trying
to replace the African elephant with the Asian elephant. We take only animals
of real African blood, which will breed and be valuable not only for ours, but
also for other zoos of the world.
“Friend of the Zoo” played a significant role. According to it, patrons
allocated almost 114 million rubles for the purchase of African animals for the
“Zambezi River”. Patrons, friends of the zoo become, one may say, foster
parents of animals and then allocate funds for their maintenance. Our family
decided to purchase zebras; 7 of them by the number of members of my family.
On June 19,
I got acquainted with the course of work; we invited journalists from the city
and republican media to the press tour. Impressions of what he saw are the most
positive. It’s like we are in Madagascar. Remember that movie? There is a lion,
an elephant, my dear zebras are waiting for the third year to come here already.
The place for the king-lemur is ready. This is Madagascar, a piece of Africa in
the very heart of Kazan! I want to thank everyone who participates in this.
Special gratitude is to Rustam Minnikhanov, who not only keeps all this under
personal control, but cares and does everything to make this Zoo a great gift
to the citizens.
animals of the African exposition will be delivered by 2021. But I am sure that
already in such state, the “Zambezi River” will become a favorite place for
residents and guests of the city, especially for children. And the Kazan Zoo
will become a real gem after the completion of the reconstruction, and stand in
one row with the best European zoos.