As auditoriums and theatres in Maharashtra get ready to welcome the audience again, and the zoo official has sent a proposal to BMC to open the Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan and Zoo in Byculla popularly known as Rani Baug on November 1. The cinema halls meanwhile, open after October 22.
Sanjay Tripathi, zoo director informed the Indian Express that the zoo is in talks with BMC and the state government regarding opening zoo. All necessary preparations are in place. The main attraction at the zoo will be two penguin babies and a recently completed birds aviary. Born to Donald and Daisy, the chicks have been named Oreo.
The zoo was last opened in February 2021 after it was shut in March 2020 due to the pandemic. But as the second wave sit the metro, the doors had to be shut again in March. The Byculla zoo attracts 5000-6000 visitors and on weekends the footfall reached up to 15, 000. Following the pandemic and the Covid-19 norms in place, the zoo can accommodate 4,000 to 5,000 visitors at one time.
It was earlier reported that the zoo will expand 10 acres to house new enclosures exotic animals like black jaguar, ostrich, cheetah, ringtail lemur to be brought to the zoo and would cost the authorities around Rs 175 crore. The wildlife hub houses 330 animals, reptiles, birds including monkeys, elephants, deer, crocodiles, hippopotamus etc.
Other attractions in the zoo apart from the penguins are two Royal Bengal tigers, Shakti and Karishma. Those were brought from Aurangabad’s Siddharth Garden and Zoo in February last year.
Moreover, the newly built aviary will be opened as well for the public. The ones who are willing to visit the zoo need to pay a ticket price of Rs 50 per person while for the children it’s Rs 25. The zoo will permit staggered entry keeping Covid-19 norms in place.