After years of having hardly any animals around, the Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan is finally getting its act together. The stunning space gained the country’s first and biggest walkthrough aviary, existing enclosures et all are getting a facelift, new ones are being created to house leopards, hyenas and tigers.
While the revamp is welcome, one hopes the accent is not just on decorative, beautiful enclosures but also educative ones. When asked the 15-year old Manjushree said, “The stress should be on safety and cleanliness. Good sanitation facilities are a must and the washrooms within must be hygienic. Often aesthetics take precedence over important aspects like cleanliness, clear directions, good lighting and safety. Signboards in the space, must also warn people of the dos and don’ts of zootiquette. Moreover, the important thing is that the whole experience should be educative.”
The recently got in two Royal Bengal Tigers Shakti and Karishma that were brought from the Aurangabad zoo have been quarantined and visitors can expect to see them only by the end of March, as their enclosure is currently being done up. Everyone thinks that the zoo must regain its previous glory and bring back the animals that had disappeared for one reason or the other.
“The Rs 50 entry fee should not go higher as the entry must be accessible to all, that was one of the best parts about our zoo. Here is to Byculla’s iconic, changing Mumbai facility. We wish it grows in strength and visitors treat new infrastructure and the animals with the respect they deserve,” adds Manjushree.