Different Names of Alipore Zoo:
Zoological Garden Kolkata/ Alipore Zoo/ Calcutta Zoo/ Kolkata Chiriakhana/ Kolkata Zoo.
OPENED ON: 1st of May 1876 (for public).
Alipore Zoo is a vast area maintained for the habitat of several species of animals and birds. This spot attracts huge number of visitors from around the world in all the seasons, especially during December and January.
It was due to the marvelous ideas of Dr. Frayer, L. Schwendler and Sir Richard Temple, the Alipore Zoological Garden was set up in the place where once a crowded, untidy busty prevailed. Mr. L. Schwendler is known as the “Father of the Zoo”. King Edward VII, the then Prince of Wales inaugurated the Alipore Zoo on 1st of January 1876 and for the public it was opened from 1st of May 1876.
History of the Alipore Zoo:
The then Governor General of India, Richard Wellesely established the Zoo in 1800 A.D. as a private menagerie. It was located at Barrackpore near Kolkata as a part of the Indian Natural History Project. Scottish Physician Zoologist Francis Buchanan Hamilton was the first superintendent of the zoo. The establishment of London zoo inspired from Zoological Park, Alipore. It was Sir Stamford, who during his visit to the menagerie inspired and set up the London zoo.
There were many establishment of zoo around the globe in those periods. So Sir Richard Temple proposed the formation of zoo in Kolkata too. The government allotted the vast land at Alipore, Kolkata which is now famous all over the globe as “Zoological Garden, Alipore, Kolkata”.
Animals Which Had Initial Habitat In Alipore Zoo:
Hog deer, Sambar deer, spotted deer, Indian gazelle, Indian antelope, hybrid Kashmiri goat, four horned sheep, African buffalo, Zanzibac ram. After few months, the animals from Barrackpore Park also added to the Alipore Zoo.
There were huge and appreciatable supports from every where. Raja Suryakanta Acharya, Krishna Raja Wadiyar form Mymensingh and Mysore respectively also gifted their private menagerie. Mymensingh Enclosure, an open air tiger enclosure is in honor of Raja Suryakanta Acharya.
Initially,the managing committee maintained the Alipore Zoo. The initial managing committee formed for the welfare of the zoo constituted of Schwendler and George King (botanist) as the members. The first Indian to be the superintendent of the zoo was Ram Brahma Sanyal.
During the later half of the 20th century, the park faced lots of criticism for ill conditions of the animals, unhygienic conditions of the animals inside the cages. Due to the death of the one horned rhinoceros, the veterinary system of the zoo had to face a lot of criticism. Zoo check, Canada also tagged the zoo as unsatisfactory in the year 2004.
Many accidents have taken place in the past due to various reasons. Animal teasing was common in the past.
Present Status Of Alipore Zoo:
The zoo has worked hard to meet the comfort requirement of the animals, habituating in the zoo. The zoo follows the requirements laid down by the Central Zoo Authority of India (CZAI).
Hybridisation Programme In Alipore Zoo:
During 1970s the zoo took forward the process of hybridization. The zoo authority did a cross breeding process between lions and tigers to produce tigions and litigons. Rudrani, a tigion was born on 1971 and Ranjini, a tigion was born on 1973 after cross breeding a royal Bengal tiger and an African lion. Seven litigons were born after a cross breeding between Rudrani and an Asiatic lion. Ranjini died in 1999. After 1985, legislation passed by the Government of India banned breeding of panther hybrids when the World Wildlife Fund undertook strict campaign against it.
You can check Shaheed Minar, Kolkata.
Animals Present In Alipore Zoo:
There are various reptiles, birds, primates and mammals present in the zoo. There are around 108 species in the zoo.
- BIRDS: There are around 56 varieties of birds present in the zoo. Some of the birds are- spot billed pelican, Great horned owl, Crested serpent eagle, Openbill stork, Hill mynah, Emu, Citron crested cockatoo, Moluccan cockatoo, Great sulphur crested cockatoo, Bare eyed cockatoo, Indian parakeet, Blossom headed parakeet, Quaker parakeet, Red whiskered bulbul, Red vented bulbul, African grey parrot, Love bird, Golden pheasant, Bhutan grey cock pheasant, Chinese silver pheasant, Nepal kaleej pheasant, LadyAmherst’s pheasant.
- PRIMATES: Olive Baboon, Slow Ioris, Slender Ioris, Chimpanzee, Hamadryas baboon and Common marmoset are the primates found in the zoo.
- REPTILES: Gharial, Saltwater crocodile, Gala pagos giant tortoise, Marsh crocodile, Indian star tortoise, Indian Python are some of the reptiles that you can see in the zoo.
- MAMMALS: Royal Bengal Tiger, Asiatic Lion, African Lion, White Tiger, Hippopotamus, Asian Elephant, Fallow deer, Swamp deer, Axis deer, Sambar deer, Giraffe, Gaur, Grant’s Zebra, Red Kangaroo are some of the mammals which are seen in the zoo.
Some Important Facts About Alipore Zoo:
- The Alipore Zoo or Kolkata Chiriakhana is the first zoo in the world to breed white tigers and reticulated giraffe.
- The endangered animal Thamin/ Manipur brow antlered deer saved from being extinct due to the breeding programme of the zoo.
- “Adwaita” or the Aldabra giant tortoise was the longest lived animal(250 years).
- The zoo was the starter for “Adopt an Animal” scheme which helped in obtaining fund for the zoo.
Alipore Zoo Or Kolkata Zoo Timing:
- Timing for ticket counters: 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
- For garden /zoo: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
- Timing for aquarium: 10.30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
The zoo remains closed every Thursday. If holiday falls on Thursday, then it remains open on that day and it remains closed the following day.
Alipore Zoo Entry Fee or Alipore Zoo Ticket Price:
- Upto the age of 5 years: Rs. 10/ person
- Above 5 years of age: Rs. 30/ person
- For aquarium: Rs. 5/ person
- Video Photography: Rs. 250/ hour
The Zoological Garden or Alipore Zoo or Kolkata Chiriakhana is one of the oldest zoos in India. So it will definitely leave a pot hole in the visit if you miss to visit the zoo when you come to the city of joy in South Bengal. The sight of various animals, birds, reptiles, fishes will soothe and comfort your eyes. You will really praise the almighty by seeing variety of lives at one place in Alipore Zoo.