Jharkhali (West Bengal): West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday allocated Rs.25 crore for setting up the world's first mangrove zoo in the state to help conserve the endangered flora and fauna of the Sunderbans.
The Sunderbans are the world's largest mangrove forest.
Dubbed a satellite facility of Kolkata's Alipore Zoological Gardens, the unique zoo will be spread over 100 acres of lush greenery in Jharkhali in South 24-Parganas district.
"We are allotting Rs.25 crore for setting up the world's first mangrove zoo. Land has already been identified," Banerjee said at a public meeting here in South 24-Parganas district.
"We want to conserve the endangered flora and fauna of Sunderbans," she added.
Jharkhali is one of the several entry points to the Sunderbans, home to the endangered Royal Bengal tiger.
It will also house animals like the Royal Bengal tiger, spotted deer, wild boar, crocodiles and otters, among others, and will serve as a conservation, breeding and rehabilitation centre for animals found in the mangrove ecosystem.
The hub will mimic the mangrove ecosystem to ensure compatibility with the animals.
The chief minister also inaugurated a tiger rescue centre at Jharkhali, named "Byaghrosundari" (beautiful tigress in Bengali). "Like Digha and Sagar Islands, we will build a gateway to Sunderbans also," she said.