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Mumbai City Zoo

Monday, March 31, 2014

Mumbai City Zoo, called the Veermata Jijamata Prani Sangrahalaya or Rani Baug in Queen Victoria’s time. This place was earlier called Victoria Gardens and is very close to Veermata Jijamata Museum also known as Bhau Daji Lad Sangrahalaya earlier known as Victoria and Albert Museum. The zoo can be accessed from Byculla Railway Station on the Central Railway Line. The zoo is at a distance of 15 minutes that too walking from the station and is on the main road.

For instructions on the zoo timings read the info on this photo.

I took a entry ticket of Rs.5 in order to visit the zoo. No charge to taking camera along for photography. I decided to take mine along to get a few photos of animals in the zoo.

Zoo entry timings

At the entrance there is a security check and as always the security is very tight. What I mean to say is that, I had a Swiss Knife in my pocket and it didn’t detect the same and to top it I was not frisked at the entrance. 

What’s the use of the hi-tech security doors when they are not able to detect weapons?

But they do check bags to see if there are any eatables in it, as we are not supposed to feed the animals in the zoo. This is a good check, as there have been instances where people end up feeding animals in the zoo and the animals get food poisoned due to the food fed to them, as they are not able to digest them. Please try to understand that the stomachs of the animals are designed differently than us humans, that’s why they are animals and we are humans.

I then took out my camera and started on my photo tour of the Zoo. It was afternoon when I reached the zoo. Due to the winter the breeze was chilly so didn’t mind the heat. Few visitors. Mostly they were people from outside Mumbai who had come to see the Museum.

I saw a few squirrels there running about in search of food. They were so quick and fast that I had a tough time taking photos of them.

Walking for a few seconds I located two elephants made of creepers. They were quite a nice site to see. But I had come to see real elephants and not once made of creepers, is what I said to myself.
The Asiatic Lion was the first to see. I tried hard to locate the Lion in the cage, but I couldn’t. Then I asked a few people who were gathered there, “Bhaisaheb, Sherni dikaie di ki nahi” to which they replied “Nahi, Hum bhi Sherni ko hi dhund rahe hai” Finally one of the guys spotted the Lion and he shouted “Woh rahe Sherni.” I’ll narrate in English, I couldn’t see the Lioness so I asked the other visitors if they are able to view to which they replied No, later one of them saw the Lion.

The Lioness was busy sleeping in the cage. Trees camouflaged her quite well I should say. Any which ways she was very bored to stand up and pose for my camera. I guessed they are used to dozens of people coming to view them every day.

I then moved on to see the elephants; they were far away but to get a glimpse of them. They were a couple. We can’t get close to them so have to zoom in on our eyes and camera to take a pic.

All over the Zoo, there were instructions stating, Keep Silence, Do Not Feed or Tease Animals, Do Not Cross the Railing, Do Not Litter. I guess people were adhering to these instructions. This is a good thing.

Suddenly I saw a huge crowd gathered around a surrounding. I joined the gang only to spot two crocodiles resting in the hot sun in their surroundings. The crocs were so still they for a minute I said to myself “Are they real”, no movements at all. I was photographing them for 10 minutes and no movement in these 10 minutes. A few of the visitors should me another sitting in an enclosure nearby.

I saw monkeys a few meters away; they looked totally disinterested and sad. None of them were jumping around. They sat quietly in the shade and watched the people pass by. Hanuman Langur

No animals here
I later saw the Sambar, there were three of them, resting quietly in the shade, staring faraway in the distance. I guess they must be missing the life they enjoyed in the jungle, instead of here.

I then moved on to see the Himalayan/ Asiatic Black Bear; I tried to locate the bear, but couldn’t spot him. No crowd to see the bear either. Is there a bear in there or just an enclosure? , Did the bear break free and run away from there? Are the questions that came to my head? No one to answer my questions I walked away to see the Hyena.

The Hyena is guess was just fed by its caretaker and sent to its enclosure. It too was sad to be there.
I saw a few Back Bucks; I guess theirs is the only population which is increasing in the zoo. They are hoarded together and were resting.

Same was the scene with the Spotted Dear.

Hippos were there two, a couple both in the water in the shade. I waited with a hope that they would come out, finally my prayers were answered and they did come out. They were huge like the one I see on Naat Geo Wild or Discovery Channel and were cute like the one that features in Madagascar.

I headed off to see the Rhino, The Great Indian One-horned Rhinoceros, but his horn was missing. He was all sad has he had just lost his partner. So sorry for him. All alone. He too I guess had grown old as he looked thin and skinny.

There was an enclosure for the Blue Bell, but couldn’t locate the animal there.
Zoo entrance, built by the British
Also what I noticed is that most enclosures were under maintenance, so I am guessing that these animals were moved to safer places for the waiting time.

The trees here have been numbered, 2336 was the no. I located on one of the trees.

There were a few birds too, but looking at the sad state of the animals I decided to head off from there. The animals looked lost, they were home sick, missing the jungle/ forest their home.

I think that they should take the animals out of here and put them in the jungle where they belong.

I then headed off to see Bhau Daji Lad Sangrahalaya located next to the Zoo.


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