It is a 157-acre (64 ha) zoo located near the palace in Mysore, India. It is one of the oldest and most popular zoos in India, and is home to a wide range of species (168). Mysore Zoo is one of the city’s most popular attractions.
While mainly depending on entry fees for its financing, an adoption scheme introduced in the early 2000s has been a success. Celebrities, institutions, and animal lovers have contributed directly to the welfare of the zoo inmates.
Mysore Zoo was created in 1892 on 10 acres (4.0 ha) of the summer palace of Maharaja Sri Chamaraja Wodeyar, and was originally called the Palace Zoo. The zoo was originally set up by G.H. Krumbiegel, a German landscaper and horticulturist. Over the next 10 years the zoo was expanded to 45 acres (18 ha) with spacious enclosures that are still in use.
The zoo was opened to the public in 1902, and now includes a bandstand and an artificial lake. It was given to the Department of Parks and Gardens of the Mysore State Government in 1948. The zoo was expanded first with another 50 acres (20 ha), and then another 150 acres (61 ha) with the acquisition of the Karanji Tank (Karanji reservoir), in which an artificial island has been created as a sanctuary for birds.
The zoo was handed over to the Forest Department in 1972, and was entrusted to Zoo Authority of Karnataka (the first autonomous organization in India to manage a zoo) in 1979.
The zoo had completed 100 years in 1992. The centenary celebrations were held in 1990 and 91. During the centenary celebrations various developmental activities were initiated such as renovation & modification of entrance gate, hospital building, Walk Through Reptiles, etc. The bust of Sri Chamarajendra Wadiyar, founder of Mysore Zoo was unveiled. The logo of the zoo, centenary souvenir, publication of literature & leaflets, conducting various competitions, preparation of a documentary film were other highlights.
Animals and Birds at Mysore Zoo
The Zoological Gardens is proud to have a collecting of big cats like Cheetah, Jaguar, Tiger, Lion and small cats like Leopard Cat, Jungle Cat, Common Palm Civet and Small Indian Civet. It is the only zoo in India to exhibit a Gorilla. Other Primates include Baboon, Capuchin Monkey, and Marmoset, a variety of Lemur, Chimpanzee and common Indian Langur. The Zoological Garden is also abode to large mammals like Elephants belonging to both Asiatic and African region, Black and White African Rhino, Gaur and Hippopotamus. The Zoological Gardens is also proud to own flightless birds like Emu, Rhea, Ostrich, and Cassowary. There is also a huge collection of Terrestrial birds, aquatic birds, deers, antelopes, ducks, and reptiles.
Major Attractions of Shri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens
A massive aviary is built in the Shri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens. A bridge is made right in the center of the aviary, to enable visitors to walk through the bridge and watch the birds closely. Painted Stork, Pelican, Blue and White Peacocks, colorful Flamingoes, Cranes, etc. can be seen in this aviary very easily.
Apart from exhibiting animals the Zoological Gardens also has an aquarium and a museum. The zoo museum exhibits stuffed animals. The Zoological Gardens also has a library and a veterinary hospital. The zoo regularly organizes essay and painting competitions to create love and awareness towards amongst children.
Animal Adoption Program at Shri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens
The zoo is into wildlife conservation programs like captive breeding for endangered species. To run these programs successfully in requires financial support on a regular basis. In order to fund the same, the Zoological Gardens has launched animal adoption program wherein general public can adopt an animal for a complete year. Under this program, one can contribute towards the feeding expenditures towards the animal of their choice.
The adopter will have a few privileges like publicity in leading newspapers, complimentary entry to the zoo and a Certificate of Adoption. This innovative idea is launched to inspire people and generate sympathy towards animals and to promote wildlife conservation.