Let's make Byculla zoo revamp more educative

Published: Feb 24, 2020, 05:09 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

Byculla's Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan is finally getting its act together after years of having hardly any animals

This picture has been used for representation purpose
This picture has been used for representation purpose

Byculla zoo saw substantial rush over this weekend, taking in its revamped enclosures. A small report in this paper illustrated by pictures stated that a standee next to the ticket counter reads: 'The zoo is upgrading... stay tuned'.

Byculla's Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan is finally getting its act together after years of having hardly any animals. The stunning space gained the country's first and biggest walkthrough aviary. Existing enclosures are getting a facelift, new ones are being created to house leopards, hyenas and tigers.

Shakti and Karishma, the two Royal Bengal tigers that were brought from Aurangabad recently, have been quarantined and visitors can expect to see them only by the end of March, as their enclosure is currently in the works. There is an anti-zoo lobby, those who think animals should not be caged at all. That argument is outside the purview of this editorial. However, we think that the zoo must regain its previous glory and bring back the animals that had disappeared for one reason or the other.

While the revamp is welcome, we hope the accent is not just on decorative, beautiful enclosures but also educative ones. 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.

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.

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