ISLAMABAD (APP) - Marghazar Zoo built at the foothills of lush green Margalla mountains in the federal capital is a tremendous source of attraction for visitors from across the country due to its fascinating location, fresh environment, and above, unique wildlife species. A large number of people from different age groups and walks of life including students, children, women, families and senior citizens daily throng to this fabulous destination, which is open to all from dawn to dusk. The zoo is a place for relaxation for those who are sick of routine activities; it's a place for great amusement for those who are interested in exploring wildlife; and, it's a place for leisure for those who need to go on walking tracks or have a cup of tea at multiple tiny huts built around the zoo at scattered places. Islamabad being the federal capital where business of the rest of the country is executed to attract a great number of people from every nook and corner, who put the visit to Marghazar Zoo in their priority list, besides other tasks they come for. CDA officials who are looking after the zoo say over 2300 people daily visit the zoo, which earn around Rs. 2.5 million a year. This number increases remarkably during vacations, weekends and holidays. The population of the country is more than 15 million but there are only five zoos throughout the country which include Karachi, Hyderabad, Lahore, Bahawalpur and Islamabad. It is very discouraging that there is no zoo in Quetta and Peshawar and rest of the cities and majority of the people, particularly students of these areas prefer to visit Lahore and Islamabad zoo. Director Marghazar Zoo Raja Muhammad Javed told APP that the zoo is spread over an area of 25 acres and under the on-going expansion project it would be expanded to 80 acres. "Expansion project, which is planned to be carried out in five packages, would help bring in many more species of animals and birds and boost the interest of the visitors," he said. He said a number of species of birds have been released in 'Daman-e-Koh' area of Margalla Hills as well as around Rawal Lake, which have become a big source of attraction for the visitors of these areas. Visitors at the zoo acknowledged the improvement being made at the zoo, particularly construction of large cages for the animals and birds. "Each time when I come here with my kids, something new has been added or improved," said Ehsan Ullah. Gohar Ali, another visitor said that the location of the zoo is another good thing where the people, besides visiting the zoo enjoy the beautiful sites and scenes of Margalla Hills. Fareena Qazalbash, a female visitor, who frequently visit the zoo alongwith friends and family, said they always feel it very comfortable to come here. "As compared to other recreational spots, Marghazar Zoo captures unique position, where one is exposed to interesting information about various wildlife animals, which are otherwise available only on television," said Fareen, who is completing her graduation. She said Marghazar Zoo is playing important role in creating knowledge about wild. The authorities are hopeful that all the missing facilities would be provided as per the standards laid down by World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).Expansion of the zoo has been started at a cost of Rs 1407.8 million and the project would be completed by 2011.