Monday, January 17, 2022

Byculla zoo: Few facilities, fewer animals, say most

A regular to the zoo, Tandel claims it is filled with children “less than two feet”, but hardly has facilities for them.

Written by Rohit Alok | Mumbai |
January 29, 2017 3:12:29 am
byculla zoo, few facilities, few animals, animals, byculla zoo animals, mumbai news, indian express news Tanmay Tandel and his friends at the zoo. (Source: Express photo)

For 18-year-old commerce student Tanmay Tandel, there are only two places in Mumbai where he can practise to become a wildlife photographer — the Sanjay Gandhi National Park and the Byculla Zoo. The latter is the second choice for him, not just because of the lack of animals but owing to the limited facilities as well. “This zoo hardly has animals. It still attracts many people, especially on the weekends, as it is Mumbai’s only zoo. However, now there is news of more animals being brought in,” says Tandel. A regular to the zoo, Tandel claims it is filled with children “less than two feet”, but hardly has facilities for them.

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“Mumbai is hot and the zoo doesn’t allow you to get any food and water inside. So many children come in thrilled, but end up cranky and crying. There should be points for drinking water, and toilets should not be so far off,” he says.

One of Tandel’s friends, Akshay Pilaji, points out that the inconvenience to visitors has only increased after the entrance of the zoo was shifted and is undergoing renovation.

“Earlier, one could arrive at Byculla railway station, hop across the road and enter the zoo. But now, the walk is almost half a kilometre,” Pilaji says. Other visitors say the confines are too small and the number of animals has reduced drastically.

Outside the hyena’s cage, Nasir Choudhary’s five-year-old son is trying to wake the animal. Not shushing his son, the Kurla resident says, “We travelled all the way to see animals and now there are so few. You can’t see the crocodiles, there is no bear, hardly any monkeys. We are not even keen to walk to the other cages.”

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