After several controversies and delays, the construction of the swanky new penguin enclosure at the Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan and zoo has finally been completed. With all quality checks out of the way, zoo authorities are likely to move the seven Humboldt penguins, who have been housed in the quarantine section since July last year, to their new home Saturday evening. Zoo officials said that the penguins will be kept under constant supervision for the first eight to 10 days to ensure that they are able to acclimatise to their new surroundings before visitors are allowed.
“They will be kept under CCTV surveillance and for the first week, a doctor will be with them throughout the day as a precautionary measure. Since exposing them to the general public may put them in distress, we will allow a few people initially so that they get used to human presence,” said the official.
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Apart from installation of acrylic glass to ensure that there are minimum chances of leakages, tests have been carried out to check the strength of the glass. “We have paid attention to every minute detail to ensure that there are no mistakes. The glass has been tested to make sure that it is able to hold the weight of at least 66,000 litres of water. Now that we are ready, the penguins can finally move to their new home,” he said.
The building has a new look, an interpretation desk and LED panels have been installed, the latter to display information about the exotic birds. Apart from a cafeteria, spaces have been provided for outdoor seating as well.
The official said that zoo authorities will have to now wait until the new general body of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is formed, after which the penguin enclosure can be inaugurated and thrown open to the public.