PESHAWAR: Peshawar zoo, a unique facility spread on 29 acres land, has attracted a large number of visitors and families along with their children during Eid holidays from different districts of Khyber Pakthunkhwa. Following improvement of the weather conditions due to heavy rains in Peshawar on Eid holidays, the people accompanied by the children thronged to Peshawar zoo on third day of Eidul Fitr taking keen interest in eagles, cobra snakes, tigers and others wild animals cadged there. Zarafas, lions, pheasants, dears, cranes, reptiles, birds, parrots and bears remained center of attraction of children whom arrived along with their families from Khyber, Kohat, Nowshera, Charsadda, Mardan, Mohmand, Swabi, Peshawar and others districts of KP. Established near University of Peshawar and Pakistan Forest Institute (PFI) on Palosai road, the zoo provides a unique recreational facility to tourists, visitors, wildlife lovers, students and Peshawarities. Peshawar zoo is bigger than all other zoos of Pakistan as it spread on a vast area of over 29 acres of land wherein almost all species of wild animals and birds existing in the country have been caged in natural habitats. At entrance, big status of elephant and zarafa have been installed in front of main gate that attract attention of visitors and children. Falcons’ cage remained a centre of attraction of tourists and children where two large sizes brown eagles are kept. On its left and middle sides, zarafas, zebras, camels, dears, ducks, pheasants and others birds attract visitors’ attention. A safari bus is also available for visitors to help them in watching all these wild animals in short time besides a restaurant for food services. Free swings, camel and train ride inside facility doubled the joy of children. Samina Qaiser who came to Peshawar zoo along with her children from Nowshera told APP on Thursday that it was a great gift for people of Peshawar, which has not only enhanced beauty of Peshawar but also become a symbol of healthy entertainment. “In the past, I had visited Islamabad and Lahore zoos to entertain my children. This year I did not go to these cities because of Peshawar Zoo,” said Samina. “Falcons have always attracted my children and that is why I came from Nowshera district to see them closely in zoo” she said. “It is not only a place of entertainment but a great source of education and research for students of wildlife and zoology who otherwise travelled to Islamabad and Lahore for this purpose in the past,” she said. She underscored the need for proper shelter shades, trees plantations and proper cold watering for animals, adding services of DVM doctors may be hired 24/7 for looking after medical needs of the animals in harsh weather conditions. Zeeshan Khan, a resident of Wapda Town Peshawar said the zoo was a good addition in provision of healthy entertainment and recreation facilities for residents of KP. He said people from Attock Punjab also visited Peshawar zoo, bringing people of all provinces further closers by enhancing bonds of friendship and love besides knowing about each others’ culture and traditions. The negative effects on people’s mental and psychological health put by coronavirus in last two years had almost been ended courtesy by Peshawar zoo. Its play-lands, train ride, swings, motion and camel ride, cafeteria and safari train added colours of the zoo. He suggested establishment of a testing laboratory at zoo premises for treatment of common diseases would help avoid deaths of precious animals in future. He said fare of zoo was relatively high and children should be exempted from it. Special focus should be made on training of doctors and staff employed at the zoo so that they could properly take care of the animals as per international standards. Dr Mohsin Farooq, Chief Conservator Wildlife said Sunday has been reserved for families along with their children to visit the zoo. He urged visitors not to throw stones at animals or tease them and extend full cooperation with zoo staff. The Wildlife Chief said zoo was identity of Peshawar and visitors should make it neat and clean for our people.