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Prague zoo to build new pavilions for polar bears, pandas

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Prague, Oct 24 (CTK) – The Prague zoo is going to launch an architectonic competition for a new Arctic pavilion for polar bears and seals, and also a special pavilion for giant pandas which it hopes to acquire from China, zoo director Miroslav Bobek told a press conference yesterday.
“The present polar bear pavilion is more than 80 years old and totally inconvenient. In addition, it is located on a southern slope,” Bobek said, adding that the new pavilion is to be built in a climatically more favourable northwestern part of the garden.
If the zoo succeeded in gaining giant pandas from China, it would also seek building a parking house in cooperation with the City Hall, Bobek said.
To acquire the attractive but strictly protected pandas, either the Czech president or the prime minister has to apply for them on behalf of the Czech Republic, he said.
Other projects now under construction in the zoo are a new restaurant and pavilions for exotic birds and the Australian fauna, which will be completed in the next two years.
The zoo also wants to build a new pavilion for gorillas, since the present one stands in the lowest-situated part of the garden near the Vltava River and may be endangered by floods.
The zoo wants the old pavilion to host other animals that can be easily evacuated, unlike gorillas.
Unfortunately, the start of the project worth 121 million crowns has been delayed due to objections of the local district town hall. It says the planned pavilion is overblown in size and if constructed, it would interfere in the adjacent protected nature area.
Bobek said the pavilion of gorillas may be opened in 2019 or 2020, simultaneously with the new Arctic pavilion.
The panda pavilion may be opened in 2021, he said.
($1 = 24.809 crowns)

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