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| Last Updated:: 28/12/2019

After three years, birds flock to Otteri lake inside Vandalur zoo








If you are planning a visit to the Vandalur zoo this New Year or Pongal, walk till the Otteri lake. Brimming with water after three years, it is a miniature version of the Vedanthangal sanctuary. It has attracted a large number of migratory birds after three years and is now open to visitors. Zoo director Yogesh Singh said the lakebed is spread over 40 acres of which 18 acres are submerged following the recent spells of rain. “This lake used to be a haven for migratory birds that would come to breed during the winter months. However, after Vardah ravaged the zoo and the monsoon failed, the lake went dry,” Singh said.





To bring back the avian population, the zoo managers desilted the lake. “With the silt cleared, the lake can hold more water now. The rain that lashed the city and suburbs this monsoon filled the water body,” he said. The lake’s bund was strengthened and weeds and shrubs cleared. Concrete benches have been provided for visitors, Singh said. Deputy director of the zoo Sudha Ramen said at present six species of migratory birds are nesting in the lake. “One can see glossy ibises, painted storks, egrets, herons, cormorants and darters. More than 300 birds are there on the trees inside the lake,” she said.





“We expect more birds to come as the migratory season extends till April. Birds that migrate to south in December-end or early January will stay and complete the breeding cycle. They will fly back only when the newborns are ready for the journey,” she said. Till last month, no visitor was allowed near the Otteri lake as the renovation work was in progress. “Besides the enclosures, the lake will be an added attraction for the visitors,” Ramen said.







Source: The Times of India, 28 December 2019, Chennai.