The Kolkata Zoo mostly connoted as Alipore Zoo or Alipore Zoological Garden has been a very famous place for the visitors from far and near since 1876, the year when officially Edward VII inaugurated the zoo. The very first members of the zoo was a leopard and two elephants, gifted by the then Prince of Wales, Edward VII.
Since its commencement, the place has become a very popular place, especially for the kids. History says, the first zoo superintendent, Mr. Ram Brahma Sanyal devoted his entire life in improving the standard of the zoo to international level.
However, his hard effort did not go in vain as Zoological garden Kolkata has been named as National zoo of India. The zoo covers an area of almost 46.5 acres. In this entire area, the zoo accommodates range of mammals, reptiles, birds and other creatures. Usually, during the winter period the Alipore Zoo experiences maximum number of footfall, but on special days like Christmas and New Year, the footfall reaches almost a lakh.
Special attractions of the Zoo
Elephants : The zoo has always been mostly famous for the elephant crowd. In 1928, Pa Wa, a white elephant created buzz among the visitors. People started visiting the zoo to glimpse the albino elephant.
Similarly, Jamuna, a female elephant during the 1920s was shifted to Auckland from Kolkata zoo, which later became very famous there. There are many more other instances of elephant in Alipore zoo.
Giant Tortoise : Lord Clive donated Alipore Zoo Kolkata a very old and beautiful Aldabra Giant Tortoise. The male tortoise lived for almost 255 years and became famous for being the longest living animal in the world.
Man-eater Tiger : During 1903, a man-eater tiger was captured in the Alipore Zoo, which created a record of killing more than 200 people. The animal was very popular at that time in the zoo.
At present the major attractions of the zoo are one-horned rhinoceros, Royal Bengal Tiger, African Lions, Asiatic Lion, Zebras, Grant’s zebra, Indian elephant, Indian Muntjac, Fallow Deer, jaguar, hippopotamus, dromedary camel, emu, Ostrich, Macaw, Leopard, White tiger, Striped Hyena, Blackbuck, Kangaroo, Nilgai, Himalayan black bear, Jungle cat, Axis deer and many more to name. A four-month old female elephant has joined the animals as the youngest member.
The zoo right now is organizing many programs like Adoption scheme, breeding programs, and reformation programs and so on. However, despite all such expensive programs and heavy feeding and caring costs, the Alipore zoo management has kept the entry fee Rs.20, for people to come and enjoy.