We have all visited zoos, as children and adults alike. And Mumbai is soon to get a bigger and better Zoo. To serve as an extension to the already existing Byculla Zoo in Mumbai, the Maharashtra Government has handed over Aarey Colony to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) by signing a Memorandum of Understanding on World Environment Day. The Zoo is touted to match international standards possessing rare creatures, promising both a fun and informative experience for all visitors alike. But there’s more to the eye than it meets.
The area signed over by the Maharashtra Government to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is a good 100 acres of land. According to BMC, this zoo will also have a Jungle Safari for a lively infotainment session of the visitors. Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray told Mumbai Mirror that it was a proud moment for the city.
It isn’t as simple as it sounds. There is another side to the story, a much more important side coming from environmental activist Stalin D who is strongly against Zoos let alone expansion of the this existing Byculla Zoo.
He said in a statement to Mumbai Mirror how the land should have gone to Sanjay Gandhi National Park instead which is a biological reserve, not a zoo. What’s the difference you ask? Stalin D explains it best.
“A conservation initiative is welcome and not a zoo. The area should be made a biological reserve, a conservation zone, a wildlife rehabilitation area where animals are free and visitors need to move around in sound-proof glass vehicles.
The concept of keeping animals in captivity should be discarded. Aarey Colony must be rejoined with Sanjay Gandhi National Park and used to keep animals that can not survive in the wild” he said.
We totally understand where Stalin B is coming from as zoos are more or less like circuses, where innocent wild animals are kept in captivity for our entertainment. This is perhaps the worst way possible to get to know nature and the wild and all it’s magnificent creatures, each playing a crucial role in the sustainable of all species including our own.
Trapping them in cages while we move around freely is not the introduction the kids need people. Instead, we should support conservation efforts and biological reserves more as they do not imprison animals AND you can learn about them from a safe distance. This way you actually learn by observing these creatures in their natural environment.
We say no to zoos and so should you! We all are allowed to learn but not at the cost of causing misery and pain to living beings. To get a better picture, watch this video.
* Trigger Warning: Graphic images of animal cruelty*