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Those who love wild animals, often fantasize about visiting some of the iconic zoos and safaris in the world such as the ones in San Diego or Beijing. Indian zoos are often a laugh compared to those that meet international standards. Smaller cages, cramped spaces and common and commonly unhappy wild creatures. However, this is soon to be short-lived as India is to get its very own large-scale zoo, expected to meet all international standards.
On June 5, 2019, marking World Environment Day, 100 acres out of 190 acres in Aarey Milk Colony area in Goregaon were transferred from the State’s Forest Department to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). This area is claimed to soon be developed into one of the country’s finest zoos. A whopping Rs 500 crore (approximately) will be spent on this endeavour. The MoU was signed by the Maharashtra State Government Forest Department as well as the BMC in the presence of Mumbai Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi, Maharashtra Forest and Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar and Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray. The Forest Department and BMC will split the revenue that will be incurred from the venture.
On a humorous note, Mungantiwar mentioned that there will be no financial restraints for the project as both Forest and Finance departments are under his jurisdiction. He also expressed that such world-class facilities will attract tourist attendance and as a result, escalate employment opportunities for the local population once the zoo is successfully built.
In addition to what is typically expected of a zoo in India, it will feature a conservation and protection centre for rare animals and also dabble in breeding of endangered species. The most striking feature of this enterprise is the new facility of jungle, leopard and night safaris. The zoo is intended to run like a well- coordinated machine and thus will employ a team of experts in order to ensure efficient work.
At the event, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackaray also expressed his desire of turning Mahalaxmi Race Course into a Modern Theme Park.
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