Three years after, the animals wait for their zoo renovated – The Observer

At the end of 2018, the Villa Dolores zoo will no longer be an «album of figurines alive», to become a place where the animals live in a natural habitat. And, after four years behind bars, will reopen its doors.
This is at least the plan that is proposed by the Intendencia of Montevideo (IMM), and that will involve the relocation of some animals within the property, to move others, to condition the spaces, and fill the place of green. «We could be opening Villa Dolores to the end of the year that comes with a renewal of the 60% of its surface,» he told The Observer the System director of Zoos in Montevideo, Eduardo Tavares.

This change of concept, and the attempt to make that space in the middle of the city a friendly place for animals, had been announced already in 2014, when the zoo was closed to the public.

However, three years of that date, the amendments have not been many, and several of the 400 animals that remain in the vicinity of avenue Rivera, and Rosell and Rius continue to live in inappropriate locations.

The Intendencia of Montevideo spends $ 10.8 million a year for costs of operation and maintenance of the zoo, who works behind closed doors since 2014.

After pressures of the animal protectors, and a project of Fund Capital that had no votes, and where he assessed the possibility of removing all animals and create a zoo virtual, the administration of Daniel Martínez resolved to return to the original project, will be reported in the program All passes of Ocean FM. The priority, said Tavares, is to finish the reform of the space for the jaguars, which is on a 40% run, and relocate the tiger, that remains until now in a cage victorian style, with more concrete and bars that space to move around.

With an investment of $55 million, Villa Dolores will be an open park integrated with the Park of the Friendship in the industry on the calle Rivera, and with fewer species in larger environments, as explained by the director of the System of Zoos. The idea is, in addition, have an educational space for children, with technology, and cover the walls of the green to avoid seeing the houses and buildings.

Currently, recognized Tavares, the zoo is «a mixture of environments with potential and things that are in the prehistory», so you need an intervention. «Today, with the tiger, one could say: ‘it Is better at home, you could give a background larger than the one you have’,» said Tavares, who is to his understanding that «the worst thing that can happen to a zoo».

A rather decadent

The Thursday at noon, the hippopotamus female remained standing, motionless, next to the pond, with the eyes barely open. Almost opposite, the tiger looked to the visitors behind bars, and behind him, dozens of columns of red gave framework to what will be a large space dedicated to the jaguars but because of lack of resources remains stagnant.

More in the background, on Rosell and Rius and Liber Arce, several ostriches african walking in the campus covered with pastures -where it is thought to relocate the tiger-. The three emus, meanwhile, shared a corral, and 20 other species, though different, were housed in structures equal: an enclosure of pipes, tissue, and a «casita», that has nothing to do with its habitat.

Around 400 animals live in the six hectares of the zoo Villa Dolores. There are about 90 species. Some of the animals will be moved to the Park Lecocq.

Peacocks, roosters, and cats strolled in relative freedom. And lots of branches and leaves pruning, ponds with the green background of mold, or practically empty, and the roads broken, completed the decadent picture.

«It’s like a sampler of things that made no sense,» said Tavares.

The changes that will have the zoo

Park built and open

Within the project of transformation of the zoo, the commune intended to check out the huge poster of the front and extend the Friendship Park on the avenida Rivera, to Rossell and Rius. So, there will be a continuation between the two spaces, with more access, for which the zoo is more open to the public. The limit of this space will include the space of the Planetarium and the building of the current management of the zoo. One of the ideas is that there is also a clue to skate, to increase the movement of people within the park. Not yet clear if there will be or not a ticket for entry.

Digital planetarium

The commune will provide $56,2 million for the transformation of the Planetary. The director of Arts and Sciences, John Canessa, explained that the first action will be to restore the dome, with more than 60 years, has serious structural problems, then install a digital projection system. The commune wants to install a screen full dome that will be a «radical change» for a Planetarium which is «the oldest in activity in the world». The idea is that the space to interact with the zoo, with projections on animals, and to double the visitors in the first three years of the project.

A zoo, modern and without bars

The new Villa Dolores is destined to the species of the jungle american. The city will seek to return to the environment more natural and disguise or eliminate the barriers that separate the animals from the visitors. «What you’re not going to have here is bars, you will have a glass that is more user-friendly,» explained Tavares. In addition, the ponds become lakes real, with circulation of water, and will change multiple spaces to accommodate better native animals, said the director of the Arts and Sciences, Juan Canessa. This also changes the landscape, and there will be a space for environmental education with technology.

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