Elephant & calf
|Land area||245 acres (99 ha)|
|Number of animals||1101|
Mysore Zoo (officially the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens) is a 245-acre (99 ha) zoo located near the palace in Mysore, India. It is one of the oldest and most popular zoos in Southern India, and is home to a wide range of species. Mysore Zoo is one of the city’s most popular attractions. It was established under royal patronage in 1892, making it one of the oldest zoos in the world.
While mainly depending on entry fees for its financing, an adoption scheme introduced in the early 2000s at Mysore Zoo has been a success, with celebrities, institutions, and animal lovers contributing directly to the welfare of the zoo inmates.
Mysore Zoo was originally created in 1892 on 10 acres (4.0 ha) of the summer palace of Maharaja Chamaraja Wodeyar, and was originally called the Palace Zoo. The zoo was originally set up by G.H. Krumbeigal, 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 gifted 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 is currently home to ten elephants, and has more elephants than any other zoo in India. A total of 34 elephants have lived at this zoo, many of which were eventually transferred to other zoos. The zoo also has five green anacondas, contributed by Colombo Zoo. It also has giraffes, zebras, lions, tigers, white rhinoceroses, and baboons.
The zoo witnessed a series of animal deaths in 2004 and 2005. In August 2004, a lion-tail monkey (macaque) was found mysteriously dead. An emu and a tiger were also reported to have died mysteriously. On September 4, 2004, an elephant died, reportedly of acute haemorrhagic enteritis and respiratory distress. It was reported that the illness in elephants were due to poisoning. As a safety measure, the zoo authority suspended several staff members who were allegedly responsible for the "gruesome killings". Laboratory tests later confirmed that the two elephants, named Ganesha and Roopa, had been poisoned. This was followed by another elephant death (Komala) on 7 September despite heightened security. Komala had been scheduled to be transferred to Armenia in about a month.
On October 24, 2005, another elephant, Rohan along with his mate Ansul, died with suspicions of poisoning. The elephants were supposed to be sent to Armenia as a goodwill gesture. The Chief Minister of Karnataka immediately ordered a probe into the death of Ansul and Rohan.
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