The century-old Mysore zoo has remained packed with people since October 13 (Ayudha Puja) with over 20,000 visitors every day, a record of sorts.
The zoo registered 20,000 to 31,000 visitors during the week, the highest recorded footfall this year. Notably, it registered 31,700 visitors on Vijayadashami (October 14), zoo Executive Director and Chief Conservator of Forests B.P. Ravi told The Hindu.
Despite the rush, there was no congestion inside the zoo. The crowds were being managed by the ground staff effectively. However, there has been crowding at the ticket counters —five in number – owing to high tourist arrivals
At some places such as the reptile enclosure, the crowd was regulated by security personnel to overcome crowding, he said.
Mr. Ravi said the display of some animals (which are more in number) was being rotated daily to prevent stress among them.
‘No pickpocket cases’
In spite of the rush, no pickpocket cases and theft of mobile phones have been reported at the zoo during the Dasara season.
“Earlier, I used to get at least two to three complaints of pickpocket and theft of cellphones on days there was a rush. Surprisingly, no such complaints have been received this season. Security guards in plainclothes have been deployed across the zoo premises to ensure safety of visitors,” Mr. Ravi said.
He said the fee for using toilets had been removed recently. Owing to this, crowd congestion outside the washrooms was no longer a problem.
Mr. Ravi said the moats around the open enclosures had been painted dark or olive green to embellish the surrounding and make it look more attractive. “The moats had not been painted at all. Colour suiting the greenery of the enclosure has been used to paint the moats.”
Also, artificial waterfalls have been created in the enclosures of the Asiatic black bear and tiger, he said.
On its way to Singapore
Meanwhile, on Sunday, a male lion-tailed macaque and a male sloth bear were taken to Chennai. They will be taken to Singapore Zoo from there as part of an animal exchange programme.
The Singapore zoo agreed to give three chimpanzees (two male and one female) and four bat-eared foxes in return for a lion-tailed macaque and two sloth bears.
The other sloth bear, a female, will be sent to Singapore later this month, he said and added that the chimpanzees are expected to arrive here from Singapore in November. The zoo had sought chimpanzees from the Singapore zoo with the intention of taking up captive breeding of chimpanzees. The last exchange of chimpanzees happened around three decades ago.
The Mysore zoo at present houses four chimpanzees that are aged and have never bred in captivity. The Ramat Gan Safari Park at Tel Aviv in Israel will gift four zebras (two male and two female) to the Mysore zoo. “We are completing all formalities for bringing the animals,” Mr. Ravi said.