Mumbai: India gets its first walk-through bird aviary at the Veermata Jeejabai Udyan, popularly known as Byculla Zoo. The 44-feet high aviary was inaugurated by Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Republic Day and is spread over an area of 18,234 square feet.
The aviary will house as many as 100 species of aquatic and exotic birds, which will be living on natural conditions for which an artificial waterfall is also been made.
The walk-through corridor from the main gate of the enclosure to the end is meant to give a unique experience to the visitors. A separated enclosure is also being made which will be housing aquatic birds. Several exotic birds will be added soon.
Along side the aviaries, four animal enclosures were also inaugurated for public viewing. The pair of leopards – Drogone and Pinto which were procured from the Pilikula zoo, Mangalore under an animal exchange programme – will also be kept on public display. Alongside the pair of leopards, a sloth bear, four jackals and a pair of three-year-old striped hyenas - Varun and Sowmya, which were procured from the Mysore zoo – will also be put on display.
The animals were earlier kept at a quarantine area, now the enclosures are redesigned, replicating the natural habitats of the ecosystem. However, no additional charges are implemented and the visitors can see the animals by paying the regular ticket fare of Rs 60/-.
The new enclosures were part of the phase II renovation project of the Byculla zoo which was commissioned on 2018 and is expected to be completed by mid 2020 as construction of ten animal enclosures and exhibits are underway.
Earlier, on January a special gallery of reptiles was also opened for the public which houses rare species of snakes and turtles.
Zoo officials informed that a pair of tigers and lions will soon be added up in the family.
“Presently, the tender for the tigers has been passed and we will be procuring other exotic animals soon. The phase 3 of the renovation project will include building a sanctuary which will house exotic animals only,” said Dr Sanjay Tripathi, director of the Zoo.
Alongside tigers and lions, the zoo authorities also stated they are planning to bring as many as 17 more exotic species.