The last time I went to the Byculla Zoo, it was a construction site and I vowed not to come again for a while. Recently there were some positive news items about the zoo so I decided to come by this morning at least for a quick stroll as at least the seasonal flowering trees would be in bloom. They were!
The renovation work is still in progress, however quite a few animal enclosures are up and running though it is very sad to see the poor creatures serving life imprisonment for no fault of theirs whatsoever..... I really wish that even if animals have to be held in captivity they could at least be in a safari style huge space such as at the SGNP at Borivili. The two new leopards at the zoo are in a miserably small enclosure. The aviary has been made better undoubtedly but the height is way too low for the birds that are imprisoned within. The hapless poor Great Hornbill who is quite old now, looks like he is waiting to pass on .. to the great freedom up above and I pray he goes peacefully and soon. A tiger is in the quarantine section, soon to be imprisoned in his own enclosure, poor chap. Having said that, I admit that the kids at the zoo were quite happy to see the animals.
The trees are still beautiful though many rare specimens have been cordoned off during the repair works. Right now the Amherstia nobilis and Saraca indica are in full bloom.
The previously open lawn spaces have been nicely landscaped but unfortunately are mostly fenced in so people cant enjoy within. What is the purpose of having a large beautiful public garden if people cant relax and sit in the grassy spaces?
A welcome addition is a natural open butterfly garden created by planting butterfly host and nectar wild plants, which are indeed attracting a fair number of butterflies.
The renovation work should be complete by this time next year so those wanting a "Zoo" experience would be better waiting.
Its free for over 60's, Rs 100 for a family ticket, Rs 50 for adults and Rs 100 for a non-phone camera.
Not worth the visit if you are a tourist. For locals, depends on your preference.