Baku Zoo entrance
|Land area||4.25 ha (10.5 acres)|
|Number of animals||1200|
|Number of species||168|
Baku zoo (Azerbaijani: Bakı zooloji parkı) is a state zoological park in Baku. It is the oldest zoo in Azerbaijan and was opened in 1928. It belongs to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan and to the Mayoralty of Baku city. The total area of the zoo is 4.25 hectares (10.5 acres).
In 1942, a new zoo was founded on the basis of evacuated Rostov zoo, the opening ceremony of which was held after the Great Patriotic War. Until 1958, the zoological park was located near a railway station in a small square, which was later named after Ilich.
In 1958, the zoo was relocated to Bayil township, on the outskirts of Baku and remained there until the middle of 1970’s, when a Bayil landslide happened, during which a lion and a bear died crushed in a fallen cage. This tragic event made the city power to think about a new, safe place for the zoo, but until the decision was made, the zoo was temporarily relocated to Razin township (at present Bakikhanov township), where it was located until 1985.
But during this period of time an expert group of zoologists, biologists and other specialists decided that a park located in the territory of Narimanov rayon of Baku was the appropriate place for habitation of animals. Construction of the new zoo was begun near a railway station for children, and according to the plan 45 hectares (110 acres) were allocated for it. To speed up construction it was decided to temporarily use only 2.25 hectares (5.6 acres) of the land and later expand the territory by constructing a circular railway for children at the zoo.
In 1979, head of executive power allocated necessary amount of money for the construction of the new zoo, which was lasted 5 years because of deficiency in financing. And at last, on September 1, 1985, new Baku zoo was brought into operation and was opened for visitors again, where it is located up to now.
In 2001, according to order of head of the Executive Power of Baku 2 hectares (4.9 acres) was allocated to the zoo, expanding the total area of the zoo to 4.25 hectares (10.5 acres).
In 2008, six species of exotic animals were brought by airplane from Minsk to Baku zoo: couples of Nile crocodiles, nasuas, chinchillas, row deer, Egyptian dogs, and lynxes. It was in exchange for a young lion, which was sent from Baku to the capital of Belarus at the end of 2007.
In 2010, constructional works began in the territories belonging to the zoo and in the result of this construction of a new railway station for children was totally reconstructed. Issue about resettlement of the zoo was put on the agenda again.
Since 2000s, animal welfare organizations had concerns about conditions and public safety.
Project of new zoo
According to order of Ilham Aliyev – the President of Azerbaijan, a new zoo with unique and rare kinds of flora and fauna will be constructed in Ceyranbatan village of Absheron rayon, about 10 kilometers (6.2 mi) from Baku. The amount of 2.85 million manats was allocated from the president’s fund for this purpose. Rare mammal and birds from different continents, especially from Australia will be located in the territory of the new zoological park, the area of which consists of 230 hectares (570 acres). A working group, which includes specialists from different research institutes and NPO’s, is created in the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources and Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences.
Symbol of Baku zoo
Pink flamingo, which appeared in Baku at the beginning of 1990’s for the first time is the symbol of Baku zoo. Citizens of the city brought these-half-dead and injured birds to the zoo. Workers of the zoo, leading by the head veterinarian Chingiz Sultanov looked after them and due to them there are about 28 flamingos at present.
As of 2010, there were 160 species of animals, with about 1200 animals in the zoo.
- Media related to Baku Zoo at Wikimedia Commons