Visit Lahore Zoo

Today the zoo houses a collection of about 1380 animals of 136 species. Lahore Zoo was the host of the fifth annual conference of SAZARC in 2004. The stated mission of the zoo is:To carry out ex-situ conservation of species and to actively contribute to Pakistan's International commitment in terms of the Convention on Biological Diversity in addition to provide excellent educational and recreational facilities.Lahore Zoo is thought to be the third or fourth oldest zoo in the world. Vienna Zoo of Austria, established in 1752 as a menagerie, was opened to public as a zoo in 1779. London Zoo of England, established in 1828, was opened to public in 1847. The Alipore Zoo of India, established some time in the early 19th century, was opened to public as a zoo in 1876.

History

Lahore Zoo had its beginnings in a small aviary donated by Lal Mahundra Ram in 1872 to the Lahore Municipal Corporation. Over time the animal collection increased and the zoo expanded. It later began to take interest in conservation, education and research in addition to providing recreational facilities to the public. By 2010, the zoo was home to about 1280 trees of 71 species and 1380 animals of 136 species including 996 birds of 82 species, 49 reptiles of 8 and 336 mammals of 45 species.

The zoo was managed by the Lahore Municipal Corporation from 1872 to 1923, when management was turned over to the Deputy Commissioner of Lahore. Management was transferred to the Livestock and Dairy Development department in 1962, and then to the Wildlife and Parks department in 1982. Between its founding in 1872 and its turnover to the Wildlife and Parks department in 1982 there was very little development at the zoo. Since 1982, it has upgraded its exhibits, layout, and landscaping, and has become a self-financing organization

A master planning, improvement and development project of 18 months duration was approved in on July 25, 2005. It was carried out by 'Zoo Maintenance Committee' and sponsored by Planning and Development Department of Government of Punjab. The project cost around 202.830 million Pakistani rupees and aimed for the improvement and addition of facilities.

Areas and attractions

Animal exhibits

  • Fancy Aviary is as old as the zoo itself as it started as an aviary in 1872. The section houses a number of bird species, most of which are parrots, fowls, doves and pigeons and birds of prey. Other species housed are European rabbits, Indian crested porcupines, spur-thighed tortoises, Indian wolves, a wild boar and a jungle cat.
  • Tiger House was constructed in 1872 for a few hundred rupees and renovated in 1987 at a cost of about 5.1 million rupees. It has seven rooms and two moats which currently house Bengal tigers and lions. A bear pit exhibits a pair and two cubs of Asian black bears. Other animals include a pair of leopards and a pair of cougars.
  • Elephant House was constructed in 1972 at a cost of about 500,000 rupees. It has three rooms and three moats. It houses three endangered species endemic to Africa: a pair of hippos (named 'Raja' and 'Rani'), two white rhinoceros and a female African bush elephant (named 'Suzi'). Suzi was brought to the zoo in 1972 on its 100th anniversary.
  • Giraffe House is home to a variable number of plains zebras and dromedary camels, a pair of giraffes (named 'Twinkle' and 'Sunny'), two Bactrian camels and a llama. It also exhibits three species of flightless birds or ratites: emu, ostrich and southern cassowary.
  • Deer House contains more mammals than any other house in the zoo, including axis deer (chital), blue bull (nilgai), fallow deer, Indian gazelle (chinkara), red deer, sika deer, the near-threatened species of blackbuck and mouflon as well as threatened species of hog deer, sambar and urial. It also houses red-necked wallabies.
  • Monkey House gained popularity when a pair of chimpanzees were introduced in 1994 and gave birth to triplets. As of June 2010, only three chimpanzees remain. Other animals in the section include black-footed gray langurs, olive baboons, capuchin monkeys, rhesus monkeys and vervet monkeys.
  • Crocodile Ponds are one of the more popular exhibits of the zoo. One pond houses two female gharials (locally called 'gavial'). Another large pond houses a variety of aquatic birds including great white pelicans, greater flamingos, mute swans and black swans. Another area is home to a European otter.
  • Snake House is the serpentarium of the Lahore Zoo. It was closed in June 2007 when about 20 snakes died because of suffocation. After being renovated, it was reopened on April 30, 2010. The exhibit houses species including Indian cobras, Indian phythons, Indian sand boas and Russell's vipers.

Located at: Lahore Zoo, lahore, Pakistan
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