The Lao Conservation Trust for Wildlife is working hard to improve the Lao Zoo at Ban Keun, Vientiane Province, to transform it from a common zoo to a center for conservation and education.
According to the Vientiane Times, the facility is currently undergoing renovations before it will be reopened to the public. The revamp will include upgraded enclosures for animals, a museum of natural science, and a wildlife education program with dedicated tours for visitors.
The Lao Conservation Trust for Wildlife (LCTW) commenced its upgrades last month, with the conservation center to be open for the public in 2021.
The zoo already maintains a rescue center that houses over 400 animals, with many of them soon to be re-released into Lao conservation forests.
LCTW now hopes to partner with the European Union and the Wildlife Conservation Organisation to combat the illegal wildlife trade, which maintains a stranglehold on Laos. The trust plans to launch a wildlife rescue hotline and provide training programs in wildlife rescue and rehabilitation.
The original Lao Zoo was established in 1994 by a Lao-Thai family. Wanting to improve their facilities and help in the conservation and protection of the native flora and fauna of Laos, the family enlisted the help of South-east Asian Wildlife NGOs.
Following discussions, a plan was then established to create Lao PDR’s first multi-species wildlife rescue center and to help improve the conditions of the animals living at Lao Zoo.
In light of the success of the initial stages of the project, LCTW was formed as a registered Lao non-profit organization, turning the Lao Zoo into a hub for conservation and education for the Lao people.