Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur Chennai
: Vandalur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Area: 510 Hectares
:The Biggest Zoo In South East Asia
This man-made Zoological Park situated on the outskirts of Chennai Metropolitan was created out of the Reserved Forests of Vandalur. The forests are of dry deciduous and dry evergreen scrub type.
It was in the year 1855 the first Zoo in India was established in Chennai; later in 1979 shifted to this 510 Ha. Sprawling complex. This Zoological Park is said to be one of the biggest in South East Asia. The wild life population is exhibited in large open moated island type enclosures with simulated natural environment. More than 170 species of Mammals, Aviaries and reptiles are exhibited. Lion safari vehicle, Elephant Ride, Battery operated vehicles are some of the facilities available inside this park.
This park has a rainfall of about 1400mm average. Nearest airport is Chennai (18 kms); nearest Railway station is Vandalur (1 km.) and has a city bus terminal. This Zoological Park could be visited throughout the year. Authority: The Director, Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur, Chennai.
The Zoo Animals
Now there are as many as 81 enclosures - 6 types of deer from Barking Deer, Sambar, Blackbuck, Nilgai, Sangai, Hog Deer, Wolf, Jackal, Hyena, Llama, Otter, a number of Monkey species from Nilgiri Langur to the endangered Lion-tailed Macaque, Baboon, Hanuman Langur and Leaf-capped Langur, an aviary specially for Vedantangal birds and another for Point Calimere ones, then the higher carnivores like the beautiful tiger, the majestic Lion, Panther, Jaguar, etc. to the Elephants, Giraffes and Camels.
Environmental Awareness Programs
Apart from the range of animal life, there's plenty of environment information to be picked up by everybody. Near every enclosure, there are stone boards talking about the zoological name, its feeding, mating and breeding habits and seasons apart from the place where it is endemic. Trees have placards with their botanical names and other details. A library is also open to public on Mondays and Fridays.
Learning the Adventurous Way
Environmental awareness and education form an integral part of the zoo's activities. Educational programs have been launched for students (pre-primary, primary and higher secondary and college) and teachers and other visitors.
Apart from this, members of the `Student Zoo Club' get valuable experience as they get exposed to adventure while getting educated about wildlife management, conservation, animal behavior, their habitats, ecosystems, evolution, animal adaptations, reproduction, nutrition, animal housing and husbandry. The membership is open for 2 years for which they also get a certificate. The club is currently having a membership of about 150 members.
HOW TO GET THERE
Air : Chennai has an airport with both domestic and international terminals. Regular flights connect Chennai with the major cities within the country and also with countries like USA, Singapore, U.K etc.
Rail : Chennai is well connected by rail with the important towns and cities within and beyond the state. Vandalur also has a railway station.
: State transport buses and private buses connect Chennai with the major
towns and cities within the country. For local transportation local
trains, city buses, auto rickshaws and taxis are also available.