Mumbai: Animals roam freely at SGNP as humans remain in lockdown
Earlier this week, photos of deers roaming freely at Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in Borivli went viral with many saying that humans and animals need to learn to co-exist.
Last month, park officials had barred visitors from entering SGNP in a bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
As theatres, malls, gyms and swimming pools were shut much earlier, park authorities felt that more people might come to SGNP and in order to prevent this they decided to close it.
Before the lockdown was implemented, Chief Conservator of Forest and Park Director Anwar Ahmed had said, "In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, SGNP will remain closed for everybody (including morning walkers) till March 31." However, it continues to remain shut amid the 21-day lockdown.
More than 3,000 people visit SGNP on a daily basis and during the weekend, the number goes up.
According to Forest Department officials, because of closure, the park will lose revenue of upto Rs 3.5 lakh on average per day.
As people continue to be in lockdown, animals, birds seem to be reclaiming their space. It is all cameras out at Khareghat Colony on Hughes Road as peacocks are strutting the quiet lanes of the iconic SoBo colony. Since the lockdown, some Mumbaikars say the sightings have become more frequent, while others are of the opinion that residents, who are home all day, get more chance to see the birds.
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Taking into consideration the large number of people that might visit the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) and Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary in Vasai, the park authorities had shut it for visitors last month before the 21-day nationwide lockdown was introduced. For now, only essential services have been operating and all parks, educational institute, offices among other things remain shut.
(All photos: Sanjay Gandhi National Park)