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Saigon Zoo Will Not Be Torn Down For Commercial Complex: Official

City officials have denied speculation that Saigon’s historic zoo will be torn down and replaced by a commercial complex.

While some of the facility’s animals will be moved to a new, 486 hectare safari park in Cu Chi District, the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens will undergo extensive upgrades, according to Tuoi Tre.

“Removing modern buildings that don’t match the French colonial style will be removed. We will touch up our botanical items, intended to enrich the city’s greenery, while moving a number of large animals which need ample living space to Cu Chi,” said the official, adding that animals that are difficult to move, such as giraffes and elephants, will stay at the current location in improved living spaces.

The US$500 million Saigon Safari project in Cu Chi will be located 50km from the city center and used for wildlife research, breeding, conservation and exhibition of endangered species. Approved in 2004, the project will be operated by a Singaporean contractor, but has been stalled due to high costs.

Commissioned by Admiral Pierre de la Grandière, Commander of French forces in Cochinchina in 1864, the zoo was opened in 1869, making it the 8th oldest in the world.

[Photos via Manhhai]

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