Does Mumbai Really Need A Zoo?

Anuradha Khanna Pentapalli Photography

About two days ago, Byculla Zoo, aka. Victoria Gardens, aka. Ranichi Bagh, aka. Jijamata Udyaan (apparently they burn through names faster than they burn through hippos) made national news for a reason that surprised absolutely nobody. One of their newly procured penguins died, and since it was female, people on the internet totally lost their shit.

Now I’m not an animal rights activist by any stretch of the word, but even I find the idea of zoos antiquated, not because they’re cruel or anything but because they’re a complete waste of tax payer money, I shouldn’t have to pay a 40% tax on a bottle of beer so some crocodile gets free housing and an indoor swimming pool. If crocodiles want to live in South Bombay they should get a job like everybody else.

Who even goes to zoos anymore? I’ve been living in this city for more than twenty years and the last time I went to Victoria Gardens was in the 1990s. Kids these days don’t care about zoos, they’re getting high, instagramming and protesting systemic injustices inherent to the human condition after reading about them on Buzzfeed. I think we need to make some hard decisions as a society, so I’ll make this one for you. Let’s shut down Byculla Zoo and turn it into a golf course.

Nobody goes to golf courses you say? Well, nobody goes to zoos either. Do you want to make a difference no matter how small or how stupid? Let’s sign this petition together.

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