Vietnam plans second safari park near Da Lat
The Vietnam province of Lam Dong has announced a plan to build a 490-hectare safari park to boost tourism. The first phase of the project will complete in 2020, placing rare animals in natural conditions with human care. Experts from Austria and Singapore are being consulted.
Doan Van Viet, chairman of the province, said at the meeting that the project is expected to earn around VND300 billion by drawing 1.2 million visitors every year. The Ministry of Investment and Planning has approved funding for the project, which if seen through will be the second safari park in Vietnam. Vinpearl Safari Phu Quoc of 500 hectares opened last December with around 3,000 animals of 150 species including those imported from South America and Africa.
The park was not launched smoothly as there were allegations that a large number of animals died after being transported there. The investor, Vietnamese conglomerate Vingroup, has denied them.
Authorities reject claims of thousand animal deaths at Vietnam first safari park
Authorities in the southern province of Kien Giang have rejected claims that 1,700 creatures died at Vinpearl Safari Phu Quoc following an inspection at the newly-opened park. Kien Giang’s forest management agency and environment police department on Tuesday checked the 500-hectare park, developed by Vietnamese conglomerate Vingroup. The inspection came after British zoo consultant Peter Dickinson wrote on his blog Zoo News Digest that according to his contact, “most of the expat team” has left the park after the deaths of more than 1,000 birds and nearly 700 mammals.
“Recent rumors that animals died en masse at Vinpearl Safari Phu Quoc are false,” the team of inspectors concluded in a report released recently. The report said only 108 creatures died as their health was badly affected by the long transport process or because they could not adapt to the new environment in Phu Quoc Island. “None of them are rare animals like lion, tiger and rhino,” according to the report. It also denied Dickinson’s claim that 500 monkeys left the park, saying that only 135 small long-tailed monkeys escaped the grid cages which had been designed for larger monkeys. The new figures confirmed by the team are consistent with those in Vingroup’s earlier reports. According to the authorities, Vinpearl Safari Phu Quoc, which opened last December, imported 2,236 creatures of 104 species.
In addition, the park borrowed 14 rhinos from My Quynh Zoo in the southern province of Long An. Nguyen Dang Trung, an experienced zoo consultant, said the death ratio of below 5 percent at a new zoo is “normal." The park’s management also rejected claims that most of the foreign experts have left the safari. Pham Tuan Linh, a manager, told Tuoi Tre newspaper only two out of the ten foreign experts had left its animal hospital last month, after their contracts expired. “The remaining eight specialists -- five from India and three from Singapore, France and Thailand -- are still working here,” the newspaper quoted Linh as saying.
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