At present, it is home to monkeys, crocodiles, elephants, deer, hippopotamus, penguins and a surplus of exotic birds. The phase III includes expansion of the existing zoo by 12 acres at a cost of Rs 200 crore.
Last month, the Byculla zoo has also received approval for a pair of swamp deer (barasingha) from Kanpur zoo. In exchange, the zoo authorities will handover a pair of military macaw monkeys, which they have been breeding for 20 years.
The research, undertaken by Samira Rathod Design under the aegis of SIRCLE (Spade India Research Cell) found 3,213 trees and 60 significant species in the Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan also known as Rani Baug in Byculla.
A senior official from the BMC said: “The company appealed to the Supreme Court but on Friday, the court gave an order in our favour. Now, we will start construction of enclosures on this plot. The revamp of the zoo has already started.”
The 23 surviving tortoises, a protected species, are from a batch of 107 that were rescued from various pet shops by the Thane forest department and placed in the care of the Byculla zoo in November 2015.
The BMC recently increased the zoo’s entry fee from Rs 5 for adults and Rs 2 for children to Rs 50 for adults and Rs 100 for a family of two adults and two children. Regular visitors could earlier get a monthly pass at Rs 30.