History of Zoo

Hi my dear friends, first of all thanks for visiting my website. Let me introduce myself. My name is Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens and I am popularly known as Mysore Zoo, I was established in the year 1892 and during 1909, I was named after my dear founder member, Sri Chamarajendra Wodeyar Bahadur. He engaged Mr. G.H. Krumbeigal, a German Landscaper and a horticulturist who had created the beautiful and attractive landscape for me.

Initially, I was started with an area of 10.9 acres and in 1907 an additional 6.22 acres was included in me; and subsequently I was expanded to 45 acres. Mr. Huge, an Australian national was selected to head the expanded me as the superintendent. Later, another 50 acres of Kensington Gardens along with the Thandisadak was acquired and thus my total area has increased to 78 acres and as you can see, today I’m huge.

My special feature is my meticulous planning ; It is resorted in recreating the natural habitat for the different species of animals. A master plan was prepared on modern lines by removing the barred and fenced enclosures and providing moated enclosures for all the animals. At first, large-ape enclosures were built in the country in 1877 with big trees, bushes and lush grass for these animals to roam around and enjoy. A pair of Gorillas, Orangutans and some Chimpanzees acquired from other zoos and for the first time in Indian history, all these species of large apes could be seen together.

During his tours to European Countries and Africa, the Maharaja used to select and bring interesting animals such as Chimpanzee, Giraffe, Antelopes, Primates and Bears. I feel proud that I'm the role model for other Zoos in the Country to exhibit rare and exotic species in captivity. I have carved niche for successfully exhibiting some of the rarest family members like Californian Sea lions, American Bison, Gunaco, Secretary Bird, Polar Bear, Penguin, Kangaroo and White Elephant in the past.

Even today I have my own very special exhibits. At present I'm housing 1450 specimen comprising 168species representing more than 25 countries. These fascinating Animals include:

1. Big Cats: Tiger, Leopard, Lions, Jaguar, Cheetahs
2. Smaller Cats: Jungle Cat, Leopard Cat, Small Indian Civet, Common Palm Civet
3. Primates: Chimpanzee, Gorilla, Capuchin Monkey, Marmoset, Lion Tailed Macaque, Baboon, Brown Lemur, Ring Tailed Lemur, Nilgiri Langur, Common Langur.
4. Deer and Antelopes: potted Deer, Hog Deer, Swamp Deer, Mouse Deer, Nilgai, Four Horned Antelope, Barking Deer, Black Buck, Fallow Deer, Goral.
5. Large Mammals: Asiatic Elephants, African Elephants, African White Rhino, African Black Rhino, Hippopotamus, Gaur.
6. Aquatic Birds: Eurasian spoonbill, Pelicans, Flamingo, Adjutant Stork, Painted Stork Sacred Ibis.
7. Terrestrial Birds: Macaws, Conures, Pheasants, Sarus Crane, Great Indian Hornbill, Peafowl, Tragopan, Parrots and Parakeets.
8. Ducks: Muscovy Duck, Spotted Whistling Duck, Comb Duck, Carolina Wood Duck
9. Flightless Birds: Ostrich, Rhea, Cassowary and Emu
10. Reptiles: Anaconda, King Cobra, Indian Cobra, 7 types of Crocodiles, Iguana

Mysore Zoo is most fortunate to continuously acquire some of the exotic species from Foreign Zoos with the Co-ordination of Central Zoo Authority and other Government Departments.

I am very clean and visitor friendly attracting more than 3 million visitors annually. I feel happy that I have become one of the attractive tourist centres and my annual gate revenue has crossed more than 7 crores, and soon it may cross even Rs. 14.00 crore mark.

My highlight is my maintenance of my greenery throughout the year with development of garden, continuous planting of saplings, ensuring cleanliness, avoiding littering of plastic materials such as plastic covers/handbags and educating visitors about plastic free zone. Thanks to all my care takers.

I have always focused on the animal housing enrichments, animal comforts, hygiene and sanitation and developing better care facilities, and also to simulate and suit their behaviour. Significant programmes such as breeding of endangered fauna apart from exotic and endangered species were successfully done. They are my family members and I always stand by my responsibilities.

I am also pioneering in breeding and this programme has resulted in developing more than 150 species in captivity. Providing spacious enclosure with a natural setting for welfare of the animals and also better education to the visitors became priority for me. My another feature is my role as orphanage for rearing the abandoned / deserted animals. I feel concerned and responsible for them as well.

I have always made education a priority. I organize 'Zoo Education programmes' throughout the year regularly involving students / NGO's / Resource Persons / Volunteers and thus the I am reaching more than 15 – 20 thousand people through such educational programmes every year. I have given 5 acres of Zoo land for establishing Natural History Museum to enhance the educational potential of the Zoo. I Inreach / Outreach / special programme for physically challenged and special group children, Literary Competitions, celebration of wildlife week, World Environment Day, Youth Club activities, Summer Camp activities, better signage, programme for KSRTC employees, auto drivers, farmers, house wives, keepers training, teachers training and publications, internship students, officer trainees, etc., are the main education programmes organized here.

There has been a touching response for the Animal Adoption Programme every year through sponsorship from the celebrities / institutions. The income tax Department has extended tax rebate u/s 80G, for the donations made towards animal adoptions. The animal adoption contribution has a significant sum Rs. 25-30 lakhs and a valuable support for managing the affairs of Zoo without any grants from the Government. I have attained self sufficiency in managing the affairs.

I have ventured to produce vermicompost for the first time by using the animal waste as well as dried and fallen leaves, thus aiming to produce 1.5 tons of Vermicompost per day, and expected to earn Rs. 7 to 8 lakhs per year, as there is a great demand for the same.

As a part of the HRD skills, I have proposed for organizing the apprenticeship course for animal keeping with the financial assistance of the Central Zoo Authority which will be first of its kind in the country, to have quality Animal Keepers.

I am concentrating on better Health Care Management, with 3 Vets, well equipped modern hospital, Laboratory, X-Ray and incubator facilities. I am also encouraging research activities by funding to the Veterinary University Scientists and have established laboratory for preparation of live food with the financial assistance of Central Zoo Authority as 'prevention is better than cure' policy. These preventive measures have helped to reduce the mortality rate below 5%. I am really happy and working towards reducing it even more in coming future.

Realizing the importance of visitors, I am providing better facilities like eco-friendly vehicle, lawns, toilets, food court, library, wheel chairs and umbrellas.

I am one of the best not only because I'm more than 119 years old and provided with large naturalistic enclosures but has displayed all Indian and Exotic species and bred them all successfully. I’m also famous for wonderful documentation and maintenance of Stud book, history and treatment records serving as an Education Institution and by conducting various educational activities throughout the year for creating awareness, successful hand rearing of exotic and endangered species, rescue and rehabilitation of orphaned, deserted and abandoned animals.