Coronavirus scare: Byculla zoo shut indefinitely

Updated: Mar 16, 2020, 07:22 IST | Prajakta Kasale | Mumbai

The construction of enclosures in the zoo will now gear up without the presence of visitors. The constructions of the tiger enclosure and the remaining part of the bird enclosure will now be speeded up in the next 15 days

Many families gathered outside the zoo asking for entry, but security teams explained the situation and closed it. PIC/Ashish Raje
Many families gathered outside the zoo asking for entry, but security teams explained the situation and closed it. PIC/Ashish Raje

Unlike other tourist spots, which are empty after the COVID-19 outbreak, the Byculla zoo had around 3,000 visitors on Sunday morning, causing the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to request them to leave, and shut it immediately.

After the state government's orders to curtail mass gatherings, the BMC has come up with more closures and cancellations at their level. The Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan and Zoo which has over 10,000 visitors on weekends will be closed till further notification.

"The number somewhat reduced on Friday and Saturday, but on Sunday many families came. I realised that the number would increase sharply within the next one or two hours. So I informed the higher authorities and the decision was taken to close the zoo," said Dr Sanjay Tripathi, Director of Byculla zoo.

Another official from the zoo said many visitors resisted. Hundreds of them had gathered outside asking for entry. Zoo security teams explained the situation and closed it after around one hour. Many visitors were disappointed as they didn't get their ticket money back.

The construction of enclosures in the zoo will now gear up without the presence of visitors. The constructions of the tiger enclosure and the remaining part of the bird enclosure will now be speeded up in the next 15 days.

Biometric attendance suspended
The BMC administration agreed to demands to suspend the biometric system for the next 15 days. In a statement on Sunday, the administration department said the decision had been taken in accordance with the Centre's advisory and order.

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