Egypt's Ministry of Agriculture clarified in a statement on Sunday that the current price of tickets for the Giza Zoo, EGP 5, will not change, explaining that the price will only be raised on Tuesdays to EGP 65.
The statement came in response to reports that the price for regular tickets would be raised to EGP 65 ($4.1).
Head of the zoo’s central administration Mohamed Ragaey explained that the zoo will open on Tuesdays, traditionally its day off, for private schools and tourist companies.
Ragaey explained that the decision was made based upon a request from tourist companies that would like to organise visits to the zoo while avoiding the regular crowds.
The price of the ticket covers the entry fee of the zoo and its museum.
He explained that the zoo will not open its doors on Tuesdays unless companies, schools or trip organisers file a prior request.
According to Ragaey, the profits will be used for zoo renovations.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture Mona Mehrez told Sada Al-Balad TV channel on Sunday that the zoo’s expenditures are very high and that it needs more revenue.
She explained that the decision will increase the zoo’s profits without raising the ticket price for regular visitors, and that many schools have organised trips to the zoo on Tuesday with the new price.
Mehrez said that the zoo needs at least EGP 50 million for its first stage renovations, which are essential since the zoo has not been renovated for almost 60 years.
Mehrez added that the zoo is also looking to acquire a number of new animals, namely a giraffe, an elephant and a rhinoceros. She said that the price of an elephant can reach $300,000 (EGP 4.7 million)
Naeema Giza Zoo’s last and only elephant who died of a heart attack last month (Photo: Giza Zoological Garden)
The Giza Zoo is a popular holidays hangout for Egyptians, especially those with lower incomes since the ticket price is relatively cheap.
The zoo was opened to the public in 1891, and is under the supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture.
The zoo covers an area of around 80 acres near the west bank of the Nile in Giza district, and has a variety of wild animals as well as rare species of plants.
Zoo officials said in 2017 that the zoo is visited by around 1.5 million Egyptians and 200,000 foreigners annually.
Egyptians celebrate Sham El-Nasim at the Giza Zoo (Photo: Mai Shaheen)