The sprawling zoo campus is among the few surviving reminders of how green and lush the capital city once was

The city zoo has always been a popular weekend/holiday destination for the residents of the capital city.

The sprawling zoo campus is among the few surviving reminders of how green and lush the capital city once was. Each summer when the academic year draws to a close, the number of visitors to the city zoo spikes to a substantial extent and so does its daily earnings. This year the situation is no different.

On April 11 for instance, the zoo’s gate collection was Rs.84,245. On April 12, this figure jumped to Rs.1,48,300. On April 13—a Sunday—the daily collection went up even more, to Rs.1,83,710. A good portion of these earnings came from tour parties stopping by the city zoo.

On April 17, however, the gate collection took a slight dip; the total ticket sales fetched the zoo only Rs. 1,21,895. The night of April 17 was special for the zoo; late that night two lorries bearing animals from the Delhi zoo arrived at the zoo compound. Early on April 18, these animals were let out into their newly constructed enclosures. As newspapers and TV channels went to town with the news of these new residents, there was a predictable upsurge in the number of visitors to the facility.

On April 18, the gate collection at the city zoo went up to Rs.1,88,085, with a majority of visitors choosing to drop by in the afternoon. On Saturday, April 19, too, the gate collection did not dip. By Sunday, however, the city zoo was a veritable beehive of visitors; that day, the gate collection was a whopping Rs. 2,07,730.

Zoo director B. Joseph told The Hindu here on Monday that the institution had also boosted its income recently by allowing more cars to be parked inside the museum compound during the day. “Earlier, we used to allow only 40 cars to be parked inside the Museum compound. I took a decision to allow all cars in. So now we get about 250 cars. At the rate of Rs.150 per car we earn a good amount per day,” he said.

Asked whether he thought the influx of additional cars would not add to the pollution inside the zoo and whether the plying of cars inside this “walkers’ paradise” would not cause inconvenience to pedestrians, Mr. Joseph said people anyway walk on the roads where there was vehicular movement. “The cars are parked inside only from 9 a.m. to say 6 p.m. So there is no inconvenience to regular walkers inside the Museum,” he added.