Humboldt Penguin lays egg at Mumbai's Byculla Zoo; officials plan to add hatchling to present colony

In just a few weeks, Mumbai's Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan (commonly known as Byculla Zoo) is expected to welcome an addition to its colony of Humbodlt penguins.

According to Mumbai Mirror, four-and-a-half-year-old Flipper laid an egg on Thursday after having mated with Mr Molt, one of the five penguins in the zoo. The hatchling will be the first to be born in India. “We will take good care of the baby penguin to make it a part of the colony,” an official was quoted as saying. Penguin eggs take about 40 days to hatch.

File image of the penguins at the Byculla zoo in Mumbai. News18

File image of the penguins at the Byculla zoo in Mumbai. News18

The news is particularly refreshing because it comes almost two years after the death of one of the penguins who were initially brought from COEX Aquarium in South Korea to the Mumbai zoo.

In 2016, a female Humboldt penguin named Dory died at the zoo after being unwell for six days.

Dory had shown symptoms of dullness, inappetance (shunning food), greenish stools and laboured breathing on 18 October. Despite running various medical tests and having a veterinary doctor to attend the bird, the zoo was unsuccessful in saving her.

Later, a postmortem report indicated that Dory might have died due to Septicemia (blood poisoning), as it found that she was infected with gram-negative bacteria, The Afternoon Despatch & Courier reported. This had triggered a political row, with several corporators crying foul over the lack of action.

According to The Indian Express, the Central Zoo Authority also slap notices on the zoo over the death, and the concerns about the health of other penguins. “I am not happy with the Byculla Zoo. Besides the penguins, the upkeep of the other animals too was not up to the mark. We have expressed our concerns," CZA member secretary DN Singh was quoted as saying in the report.

Meanwhile, zoo saw increase in revenue 

Ever since the flightless birds were made available for public viewing, the zoo has witnessed a multifold increase in its revenue collection. Their addition to the zoo prompted the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to hike the entry fee in 2017 from Rs 5 an adult and Rs 2 a child, to Rs 50 an adult and Rs 100 for a family of two adults and two children. Hindustan Times reported that the zoo now makes up to Rs 70 lakh a month, which the officials claim, was what the zoo earned annually in the past.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Jul 06, 2018 14:19:12 IST

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