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Alipore Zoological Park
 
Established as a Zoo in 1876 and spread over 45 acres of land, Alipore Zoological Garden ( formerly known as Alipore Zoo or Calcutta Zoo) is the oldest & largest Zoological Park in India and a major tourist attractions of Kolkata. Alipore Zoological Garden was pioneered by Mr. Schwendier, a member of the Council of the Asiatic society of Bengal. Alipore Zoological Park was initially run by an honorary Managing Committee which included Schwendier and the famous Botanist George King.
 
It grew based on gifts from British and Indian nobility - like Raja Suryakanta Acharya of Mymensingh in whose honour the open air tiger enclosure is named the Mymensingh Enclosure.
 
The first Indian superintendent of the zoo was Ram Brahma Sanyal, who did much to improve the standing of the Alipore Zoo and achieved good captive breeding success in an era when such initiatives were rarely heard of. One such success story of the zoo was a live birth of the rare Sumatran Rhinoceros in 1889.
 
The zoo's actual root was in the private menagerie of Arthur Wellesley, Governor of Bengal which was established in 1800 in his summer house at Barrackpore near Kolkata. The British community in Kolkata decided to upgrade this menagerie to a formal zoological garden. At last Sir Richard Temple, Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal formally proposed the formation of a zoo in 1873 and allotted the land for the zoo.
Ever since the zoo started, the management of the Garden has been vested in an honorary committee selected by the Government. At present, the garden is run under the Alipore Zoological Garden (Management) Rules 1957 framed under the Bengal Public Parks Act, 1904. The Managing Committee consists of 22 members (of which 10 are ex-officio members), nominated by the State Government. In 1957, an external enclosure for tigers was constructed.
 
Alipore Zoological Garden is one of the major tourist attractions in Kolkata and very much favourite destination during the Winter season. The Zoological Park has numerous crowd pulling exotic animals like Royal Bengal Tiger, African Lion, Jaguar, Hippopotamus, Great Indian One-horned Rhinoceros, Reticulated Giraffe, Grant's Zebra, Emu, Dromedary Camel and Indian Elephant. Previously, other megafauna like the Panthera hybrids and the Giant Eland were present.
 
The Zoo also has a large collection of attractive birds like Lorikeet, Macaws, large birds like Emu, Ostrich, Hornbills; colorful game birds like the Golden Pheasant, Lady Amherst's Pheasant, Swinhoe's Pheasant and many more. Another important and most famous attraction was "Adwaita" a Giant Aldabra Tortoise which was brought from Seychelles and gifted to the zoo in 1875. Unfortunately it died in 2006 at a ripe age of 250 years!

 

Tags: Kolkata Zoo, Kolkata Zoological Park, Alipore Zoological Park, Alipore Zoo, Alipore Zoological Garden, Calcutta Zoo, Emu, Royal Bengal Tiger, Major tourst attractions of Kolkata, Panthera Hybrids

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