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Mumbaikars flock to Asia’s first Crocodile Trail at heritage zoo

Screengrab from the video showing the newly added Crocodile Trail in Mumbai Zoo

Maharashtra capital city, Mumbai has now something different to offer to its residents and tourists. One of the country’s oldest zoos, the Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Zoo and Botanical Garden in the city, which started in 1862, now has a Crocodile Trail – billed as the first of its kind in Asia – to view crocodiles and gharials.

This zoo which is also popularly known as Byculla Zoo is run by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, will allow visitors to see these reptiles closely from a gallery.

At present the trail has three crocodiles and two gharials. It was thrown open on Sunday and is already attracting people in droves as they watch with awed admiration these magnificent creatures.

Spread over one acre of greenery and water, the trail has two separate enclosures for the crocodiles and gharials. The officials informed that more reptiles will be added from other zoos in the country.

The trail enables visitors to see the animals both on the surface as well as underwater. The highlight is the submerged deck in the lake from where the people can see the animals in the natural surroundings – water – and enjoy their activities including feeding.

Talking to the media, a BMC official remarked: “The underwater glass deck enables the experience of a live aquarium and also has an elevated platform from which an upper view is available for the visitors to enjoy.”

The officials of BMC credited with this setting up the crocodile trail include I.S. Chahal, Administrator, Ashwini Bhide, Additional Municipal Commissioner and Kishore Gandhi, Deputy Municipal Commissioner.

Spread over 50 acres of land, the Byculla Zoo boasts of several attractions including tigers, leopards, bears, waterfowls, and other animals besides a verdant green cover. One of its chief draws is the Humboldt Penguins colony, the first one in India.

The zoo sees 22,000 visitors during the weekdays which goes up to 35,000 on the weekends.