Posts Tagged ‘Byculla Zoo’

Penguins In India?

May 31, 2014

The Penguin Post has learned that three years after it made the announcement, BMC close to finalising deal to buy six Humboldt penguins at a cost of Rs 2.5 crore. Three pairs of Humboldt penguins will make Byculla zoo their home in December, ending a three-year wait by animal lovers in the city to get a glimpse of the exotic seabirds.The BMC is close to finalising a deal with a South East Asian wildlife firm to buy the six penguins at the cost of Rs 2.5 crore. 

Civic officials said the work on building an enclosure for the penguins at the zoo, formally called Jijamata Udyan, had already begun and it would be opened to public in January, “provided the procurement process goes off smoothly”.  “The construction of the temperate-controlled enclosure has started. It will be ready by the time the penguins arrive in December,” a senior BMC official said. The see-through enclosure will have three equally divided areas of water, land and rocks. “Humboldt penguins like to nest in rocks,” a zoo official said. 

The entire project, including five-year maintenance of the enclosure, is expected to cost Rs 19 crore.  The Humboldt penguin is a South American species that breeds in coastal Peru and Chile. It is named after the freezing water current it swims in, which gets its name from German explorer Alexander von Humboldt. 

The Humboldt penguin gets its name from German explorer Alexander von Humboldt.

The Humboldt penguin gets its name from German explorer Alexander von Humboldt.

The BMC had first announced its plans to get penguins for Byculla zoo in 2011. It sought the advice of Thailandbased HKS Designer and Consultants International, which suggested the names of three wildlife firms and also provided cost estimates.  After deliberations, the BMC recently picked a South East Asian supplier, whose name officials refused to divulge as final negotiations are under way.“We are in touch with the parties concerned. We hope the penguins arrive soon — they will Byculla zoo’s star attraction,” said Mayor Sunil Prabhu. “We believe the Humboldt penguins will be able to adjust to the city climate.”  Another BMC official said that a dedicated team of zoo staff and veterinarians would look after the penguins. “The animals’ diet will include fish and vitamin supplements, which are easily available in Mumbai,” he said.