BMC has approached two Gujarat zoos asking for Asiatic lions.
Mumbai: Mumbai’s Byculla zoo is making news yet again over its plans to shelter the famous Asiatic lions. As a part of its zoo revamp plan, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has approached Gir National Park and Sakkarbaug Zoological Garden in Gujarat for the same.
The civic body has decided to procure several animals — Asiatic Lion, Bengal Tiger, Soth Bear, Wolf, Swamp Deer, Sambar, Nilgai, Black Buck, Jackal, Otter, Madras Pond Turtle, Hyena, Leopard, Barking Deer, Four-horned Antelope — for the Byculla zoo. Accordingly, civic officials have approached various zoos across the country to complete the hand-over process of these animals before the construction work of their exhibits is completed.
Asiatic lions, found only in Gujarat, have been classified as endangered species. After tiger, they are the second biggest extant cats in the country. “Besides for Asiatic lions, we have also approached zoos in Kanpur and Chennai for tigers. We have also sought Jackal, Hyena from Gujarat. We are planning to bring leopards from Borivali’s Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SNGP) to Byculla,” said Dr Sanjay Tripathi, zoo director.
Under the second phase of zoo revamp plan, BMC’s Building Maintenance (BM) department had floated tenders of `5.67 crore for the enclosure works for Asiatic lion, Bengal tiger, Sambar, Barking deer, Nilgai, Four-horned antelope, Swamp deer, Black buck and Bird Aviary-2. The enclosures are expected to be ready within one and a half year.
In the first phase, BMC has built a specially designed exhibit and quarantine enclosures for Humboldt penguins, a three-storey administrative building and an interpretation centre.