Mumbai: A Royal Bengal Tiger jumps from a pond inside an enclosure at the Byculla Zoo in Mumbai, Monday, Feb. 15, 2021. The zoo reopened on Monday after 11 months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. (PTI Photo/Kunal Patil)(PTI02_15_2021_000038A)(PTI)
Mumbai: A Royal Bengal Tiger jumps from a pond inside an enclosure at the Byculla Zoo in Mumbai, Monday, Feb. 15, 2021. The zoo reopened on Monday after 11 months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. (PTI Photo/Kunal Patil)(PTI02_15_2021_000038A)(PTI)

Mumbai’s Byculla zoo reopens after Covid shutdown, draws 1,400 visitors on Day 1

  • The Byculla zoo which was shut down on March 25, 2020, reopened after almost a year.
PUBLISHED ON FEB 15, 2021 07:29 PM IST

The Byculla zoo also known as Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan which opened its gates to the public on Monday after remaining closed for almost a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, drew 1,400 visitors, zoo authorities said.

The zoo garnered a revenue of 69,600 on the opening day.

According to zoo authorities, the two biggest attractions for visitors were the two Royal Bengal tigers named Shakti and Karishma followed by the Humboldt penguins.

In February 2020, the zoo had received the two tigers from Aurangabad zoo. It had plans to keep them in the 3,500 square-metre enclosure with landscape and terrain that replicates the conditions in the Ranthambore National Park of Rajasthan.

However, by March 2020 the zoo was shut owing to Covid-19 lockdown with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) announcing the shutdown on March 15, 2020.

The zoo’s director Dr Sanjay Tripathi said, "We handled a total of 1,419 people in Byculla zoo and earned a total revenue of Rs. 69,600. This excludes senior citizens whose entry is free."

The zoo authorities expect the number of visitors to go up in the coming days when the situation normalises.

In normal times, the zoo gets around 6,000 to 8,000 visitors daily on weekdays, and nearly 10,000 on weekends. The zoo also gets many visitors in the form of morning and evening walkers. However, currently owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, walkers are not allowed inside the zoo, but are allowed to walk in the garden area outside the zoo. Current timings of the zoo are 9 am to 6 pm.

Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar will inaugurate the social media pages of the Byculla zoo on Tuesday.

According to the plan, Byculla zoo will have dedicated social media pages under the banner of Mumbai Zoo on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

"The plan is to upload daily activities of animals on our dedicated social media page and also upload educational materials on our social media pages about the zoo and wildlife inside the zoo," Dr Tripathi said.

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