Just two days after the Penguin enclosure was inaugurated at Byculla Zoo, more than 37,000 people visited them this weekend.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray inaugurated the enclosure for public viewing at Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan also popularly known as Byculla Zoo on Friday. The public viewing of the Seven Humboldt Penguins was thrown open on Saturday at a nominal cost of Rs5. Zoo authorities earned more than Rs1 lakh just on Sunday and more than Rs1.5 lakh since Saturday.
On an average day, the zoo sells tickets worth Rs24,000, authorities said. But since the penguins enclosure was opened, the sale of tickets has shot up by more than 150%, they said.
The civic body has deployed policemen for extra protection inside the premises.
A civic officer on request of anonymity said, “We are expecting even more visitors next weekend and have taken all the necessary precautions.”
Civic officials are mulling charging visitors Rs100 to reduced to crowd to a controllable number.
But they are yet to send a formal proposal to the group leaders on charging a separate entry fee of Rs100 for adults and Rs50 for children below age of 12 to view the penguins.
Following the microbiologists positive report after testing the condition of exhibit, the penguins were moved from a quarantined area of 250 sqft to a 1,550 sqft exhibit area after almost seven months. The civic officials had moved the penguins only 15 days ago. The civic body had procured eight birds from South Korea’s capital Seoul, but was severely criticized after the death of one female penguin in October.