Coming soon: Display of dead birds, animals at Byculla zoo

Himalayan black bear, that died last week, to be kept ‘alive’ in taxidermy museum.

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Dead animals will take pride of place at the Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan and Zoo, Byculla, soon after its makeover. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has decided to display stuffed creatures in a taxidermy museum to be set up at the zoo as the authorities will not be able to keep new animals in captivity, according to rules framed by the Central Zoo Authority.

Mangal, the Himalayan black bear that died last week, has been sent to the National Taxidermy Centre at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivli, for stuffing and preservation. A Himalayan black bear, leopard and python, which had died in the zoo earlier, have also been sent for taxidermy. Some birds will also go through the process. Taxidermy involves skinning, tanning, fleshing, biometry (measurement of the animal’s body) and mounting.

Taxidermist Dr Santosh Gaikwad, who is working on this process at the national park, has prepared some stuffed birds that were handed over to him by the zoo authority. “A military macaw, crown headed pigeon and spoonbill are ready for display,” Gaikwad said.

Zoo veterinarian Dr Sanjay Thripati said, “After stuffing and preserving the animals, they will be displayed for educational purposes. Visitors can have a closer look at the stuffed animals, and it will help them learn about their anatomy.”

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