Byculla zoo to get international look | india | Hindustan Times
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Byculla zoo to get international look

Imagine gazing at a hippopotamus through a giant underwater screen, or a kangaroo cage where children may be allowed to enter at the Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan in Byculla.

india Updated: Jun 16, 2009 00:56 IST
Bhavika Jain

Imagine gazing at a hippopotamus through a giant underwater screen, or a kangaroo cage where children may be allowed to enter at the Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan in Byculla.

The detailed makeover plans of the city’s only zoo, popularly known as Rani Baug, were revealed on Monday after Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray paid a visit.

Thackeray came with his younger son Tejas, Municipal chief Jairaj Phatak, additional municipal chief R A Rajeev and Sena corporators.

“I am pleased that Mumbai-ites will have an international-quality zoo that they can be proud of,” said Thackeray. His visit comes four days after the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee cleared the Rs 430-crore zoo makeover plan.

The proposed transformation will include observatory zones, a taxidermy museum, three food courts and an underground parking facility.

“The entry fee will not be increased substantially after the makeover and the food courts, which will be rented to private parties, will help us to generate revenue,” said standing committee chairman Ravindra Waikar.

The zoo will be divided into ‘continental’ zones like Africa, Australia, Asia and will house animals from across the world.

Thackeray has requested for a polar bear in Mumbai. But animal activists feel it’s a bad idea as these animals will not sustain Indian conditions.

Despite approving the plan, the Save Rani Bagh Committee’s Hutokshi Rustomfram expressed apprehension. “There are a number of conditions that the BMC has yet to meet. I doubt if zones for Australian, African and South East Asian animals can be created in the park.”