|Land area||157 acres (64 ha) + 113 acre|
|Number of animals||1320|
|Memberships||CZA / WAZA/ ZAK|
Mysore Zoo (officially the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens) 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-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 Sri 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 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 1990-91. During 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 Zoo, Centenary Souvenir, publication of Literature & Leaflets, conducting various Competitions, Preparation of a documentary film were other highlights.
The objectives of Mysore zoo are as under
- Conservation education.
- Conservation breeding.
- Research, documentation and study.
- Rescue and rehabilitation of the wild animals and birds.
- Recreation and education for general visitors, tourist & locals.
Lands under the control of Mysore Zoo
- Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, Mysore.
- Karanji Lake Nature Park, Mysore.
- Chamundi Conservation and Rehabilitation Center, Kurugahalli, Mysore.
- Summer holidays.
- Dasara festival.
- New Year.
The Karanji Lake with 77.02 acres area is located on eastern side of Zoo. The Chamundi Hills area acts as catchment and provides a dramatic backdrop.
Previously the tank was almost a garbage dump being used by all and sundry for each and every function. There was no bird life but for scavengers, crows, and the entire area was a slum. As such it was in constant danger of being taken over by developers for real estate development. The tank was handed to Mysore zoo in the month of March 1976 by public works department for development and maintenance. The tank is situated on north-east side of Mysore city. It functions as a percolation tank. After the protection and afforestation in the foreshore area, the tank started attracting a variety of birds for breeding & nesting activities. Restoration and development activities were taken up under the Asian Development Bank project through Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation to the extent of Rs.1.17 crores.
About five acres of prime zoo land has been donated to the Natural History Museum, which will enhance the educational potential of the zoo by offering people a rare opportunity to study natural history of wild animals, aquatic birds and tropical vegetation etc.
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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