Mumbai, come say hello to the Humboldt penguins, Olive, Popeye, Donald and Daisy

Mar 18, 2017, 08:30 IST | Aparna Shukla

After a three-month delay, the Humboldt Penguin Kaksh at Byculla Zoo is now open to public

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray inaugurates the Humboldt penguin exhibit at Byculla zoo on Friday, which saw thousands of spectators, including politicians, their families, zoo staff and media persons. Pics/Suresh Karkera
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray inaugurates the Humboldt penguin exhibit at Byculla zoo on Friday, which saw thousands of spectators, including politicians, their families, zoo staff and media persons. Pics/Suresh Karkera

At around 7 last evening, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray along with son Aaditya, inaugurated the ‘Humboldt Penguin Kaksh’ at Byculla zoo.

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Among the thousands who attended the opening were Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar, deputy mayor Hemangi Worlikar, municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta and Standing Committee chairman Ramesh Korgaonkar, besides local MLAs.

Much enthusiasm was on display as the politicians along with their families, zoo staff and media persons stormed inside the Kaksh after it was thrown open. Shortly after, however, the doctors pulled the blinds on the glass enclosure down fearing adverse effects from camera flashes as well as the huge clamouring crowd.

The aquatic birds at the Humboldt Penguin Kaksh
The aquatic birds at the Humboldt Penguin Kaksh

‘Mumbai’s pride’
Addressing the thousands gathered at the Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan, Uddhav said, “Our work will speak for itself, we don’t need to say anything; it has been proven right today. For all the issues surrounding the penguins, I will say they were brought here after a lot of research and consultations with national and international zoo authorities.”

“When visitors come to Mumbai, we wonder where to take them. Gateway of India, not made by us; BMC building, not made by us; we never had anything to show off; now, we do. And I’m proud of it,” he added.

BMC’s role
Mehta said, “Apart from creating jobs and providing houses, BMC’s job is also to provide quality life in the city. If a person doesn’t know where to go on a Saturday, it’s not a city.”

“If any veterinarians in our medical colleges want to do PhD in penguin studies, they are most welcome,” he added.

Talking about BMC’s role and future infrastructure and entertainment projects, Mehta said, “We are making sure that all the heritage in the city is preserved. A textile museum is going to start from April, and later this year, a museum for the ‘common man’.

“Zoos are important, not just for generating employment, but also for the betterment of animals. The income generated from zoos goes directly towards the animals’ welfare.”

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