Mumbai: Less than a month after its reopening, footfall at Byculla zoo has reached pre-Covid levels. According to zoo officials, tigers, leopards and penguins continue to be the main attractions. The zoo was shut for one month from January 10 and was reopened on February 10 after the Omicron-driven third wave subsided.
“The number of visitors has reached the pre-Covid levels and we are seeing average footfall of 15,000 on Sunday and around 10,000 to 12,000 on Saturdays. During the weekdays, visitors’ count is at 4,000 to 5,000. These figures are similar to our pre-COVID visitor count,” said Dr Sanjay Tripathi, Director of Byculla Zoo.
Dr Tripathi said that the response from citizens in itself is proof that the Byculla zoo acted as one of the major attractions for people in the city.
“Tigers, leopards and penguins remain a major attraction, and in the coming days, we also expect lions to arrive in the zoo. Our exotic bird enclosure is also a major attraction for citizens,” he added.
According to data, from February 10 to March 5, the zoo had 1,62,142 visitors and generated revenue of ₹62,68,200 from the entry fees, which is ₹50 per person. The zoo is open from 9.30 am till 5 pm on all days.
After the second wave in 2021, the Byculla zoo was reopened for the public on November 1, 2021, after being shut from April 2021. According to the official data, between November 1 and 22, the zoo recorded a footfall of 1,25,702 visitors resulting in revenue of ₹50,96,450.
According to zoo officials, in the coming days, one pair of Asiatic lions would be brought from Sakkarbaug Zoological Park in Junagadh while another would be brought from Kamla Nehru Prani Sangrahalaya, Indore.
Byculla zoo also plans to procure two pairs of zebras from Ramat Gan Safari Park in Israel. The process is expected to be completed in the coming weeks, added Tripathi.
The authorities had in February 2020 gotten two tigers from Aurangabad zoo. They are kept in a 3,500 square-metre tiger enclosure, which has flora, fauna, landscape and terrain that replicates the conditions in the Ranthambore National Park at Rajasthan. It remains one of the major attractions for visitors.