Mysore Zoo

Coordinates: 12°18′03″N 76°40′04″E / 12.3008°N 76.6677°E / 12.3008; 76.6677
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mysore Zoo
Entrance of Mysore Zoo
12°18′03″N 76°40′04″E / 12.3008°N 76.6677°E / 12.3008; 76.6677
Date opened1892[1]
LocationMysore, India
Land area157 acres (64 ha)[2] + 113 acre
No. of animals1320
MembershipsCZA[3] / WAZA/ ZAK
Giraffes at the zoo
Two Bengal Tigers in an enclosure

Mysore Zoo (or Mysuru Zoo),[4] officially known as Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, is a composite of zoological gardens and animal park located in the southern Indian city of Mysore, Karnataka. Stretching across a 157-acre (64 ha)-expanse and situated at about 700 metres (0.43 miles) from Mysore Palace, it is the oldest zoo in India and one of the oldest in the world.[5] One of the most popular zoos in India and one of the city's most popular attractions, it is home to a wide range of over 168 species.


Mysore Zoo was created from the private menagerie of Chamaraja Wadiyar X, the twenty-third Maharaja of Mysore. in 1892, on 10 acres (4.0 ha) of the Summer Palace. Over the next 10 years, the zoo was expanded to 45 acres (18 ha) with spacious enclosures that are still in use.[2]

Chamaraja Wadiyar X, the founder of the zoological gardens

Originally called the Palace Zoo, it was renamed "Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens" in 1909. A.C. Hughes, from South Wales, was the zoo's first superintendent, serving from 1892 to 1924. Hughes, Sir Mirza Ismail, and G.H. Krumbiegel worked towards refashioning the zoo and updating it with modern, natural enclosures. It now features a bandstand and an artificial lake.

In 1948, management of the zoo was devolved to the Department of Parks and Gardens, Government of Mysore. 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, in which an artificial island has been created as a sanctuary for birds.[2] In 1972, the zoo was entrusted the Forest Department and later in 1979 to the Zoo Authority of Karnataka, the first autonomous organisation in India to manage a zoo.[2]

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 and modification of the entrance gate, hospital building, walkthrough reptiles, etc. A bust of Chamaraja Wadiyar X was unveiled. The logo of the zoo, centenary souvenir, publication of literature and leaflets, conducting various competitions, preparation of a documentary film were other highlights.[2][6]


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[7]

Animal inventory[edit]

Consolidated Animal Inventory Report for the Month of October 2019[8]
Schedule I and II Male Female Undetermined Total
Mammals 124 116 38 278
Birds 16 23 8 47
Reptiles 15 15 10 40
Total 155 154 56 365
Other Schedule Species
Mammals 93 82 44 219
Birds 99 103 72 274
Reptiles 9 10 23 42
Total 201 195 139 535
Exotic species
Mammals 32 28 5 65
Birds 97 125 205 427
Reptiles 6 12 3 21
Total 135 165 213 513
Grand Total
Mammals 249 226 87 562
Birds 212 251 285 748
Reptiles 30 37 36 103
Total 491 514 408 1413

Management and lands holdings[edit]

While mainly depending on entry fees for its financing, an adoption scheme introduced in the early 2000s has been a success. Celebrities, institutions, animal lovers and volunteers of various clubs in the zoo have contributed directly to the welfare of the zoo inhabitants.

Lands under the control of Mysore Zoo[edit]

  • Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, Mysore.
  • Karanji Lake Nature Park, Mysore.
  • Chamundi Conservation and Rehabilitation Center, Kurugahalli, Mysore.[2]

Peak seasons[edit]

Karanji Lake[edit]

The Karanji Lake which covers 77.02 acres is located on the eastern side of the zoo. The Chamundi Hills 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 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.[9]


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 in Mysore. The zoo also has five green anacondas, contributed by Colombo Zoo.[10] It is also the only zoo in India to house chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, white rhinos and cheetahs.[11]

Some of the animals housed in the Mysore Zoo include:[12]

List of animals


The zoo witnessed a series of animal deaths in 2004 and 2005. In August 2004, a lion-tailed macaque was found mysteriously dead.[13] An emu and a tiger were also reported to have died mysteriously. On 4 September 2004, an elephant died, reportedly of acute haemorrhagic enteritis and respiratory distress. It was reported that the illness in elephants was 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.[14] 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.[15]

On 24 October 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.

4 January 2017, the zoo announced that it was hit by avian influenza. Lab reports confirmed that six free-ranging and migratory birds died due to avian influenza (H5N8) in late December. The monthlong closure is the longest for the 124-year-old Mysore Zoo



  1. ^ "List of Zoos in India, from 1800 until now". Kuchbhi. Archived from the original on 21 October 2011. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Mysore Zoo". Mysore: City of Palaces. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
  3. ^ "Search Establishment". CZA. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
  4. ^ "Mysuru Zoo". Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Mysore Zoo". Koehl D, Elephant Encyclopedia. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
  6. ^ Zoo, Mysore. "History". Punith Suresh Gowda.
  7. ^ Mysore, Zoo. "Objective". Punith Suresh Gowda.
  8. ^ "Welcome to Mysore Zoo" (PDF).
  9. ^ Karanji Lake
  10. ^ "Anacondas settle into new home". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 3 January 2014.
  11. ^ "Primates settle into their new home". 2 October 2021.
  12. ^ "Mysuru Zoo".
  13. ^ Mahalanobis, Surojit (14 October 2004). "Yet another 'murder' in Mysore zoo". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  14. ^ R. Krishna, Kumar (21 September 2004). "Zoo killers of Mysore". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Archived from the original on 14 October 2004. Retrieved 8 April 2011.
  15. ^ "Another elephant dies at Mysore Zoo". The Times of India. 24 October 2004. Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 4 April 2011.

External links[edit]