The chimpanzee, lowland gorilla, cheetah and the bison are expected to be major attractions at the Byculla zoo, after its revamp. Zoo officials expect the new arrivals to start coming in from May 2012.
The civic body has sought permission from the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) Delhi, for the entry of these animals. Officials say that the CZA is expected to reply in a week.
Apart from these animals, the civic body has finalised giraffes, zebras, wild dogs, tigers, Asian and African lions, leopards, mouse deers, slough bears, orangutans, pangolin jungle cats and penguins, to be brought in to the Mumbai zoo. Of these, a few of the African animals would have to be procured from abroad, while others would be sourced from the other states.
The execution of the plan will be carried out in four phases. Phase one has already begun, and involves construction of an administrative building, an
interpretation centre, a well-equipped zoo hospital, quarantine area and a parameter wall. Fencing will be taken up shortly.
The civic body will begin crucial makeover work, like the designing of animal enclosures, from October 1. Animals will start arriving phase-wise, from May next year. The makeover will take three years to complete.
“Revamp work will not affect the botanical garden at all as we are not changing the pathway or green space,” said Aseem Gupta, additional municipal commissioner. Meanwhile, the civic body has gotten an extra seven-acre plot, adjoining the zoo premises, from Mafatlal Company, which was reserved in the development plan for the purpose of expansion of the zoo. Wild animals like the tiger, lion and cheetah will be shifted to this plot.
The cost of the project, which was estimated at Rs460 crore, will now have to be curtailed to Rs100-Rs110 crore.