Alipore Zoological Garden, Kolkata

Zoological Garden, Alipore, Kolkata

Heritage & History

Since establishment of the Zoological Garden, Alipore on 24th September, 1875, Zoo has passed through several phases. Initially, the citizens of Kolkata at that time came forward with generosity in the process of establishing the Zoo with financial help and they also donated animals from their collections to the zoo.

Then land development started and some animal houses were constructed to house animals. "Mullick House" is the first animal house constructed within the Zoo with the financial help of Raja Rajendra Mullick Bahadur, the first Indian donor.

The park was initially run by an honorary managing committee which included Schwendler and the famous botanist George King. 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 next pregnancy in captivity occurred at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1997, but ended with a miscarriage. Cincinnati Zoo finally recorded a live birth in 2001. Alipore Zoo was a pioneer among zoos in the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century under Sanyal, who published the first handbook on captive animal keeping. The zoo had an unusually high scientific standard for its time, and the record of the Cladotaenia genus (Cohn, 1901) of parasites are based upon cestodes (flatworm) found in an Australian bird that died at the zoo.

Fowls and pheasants were kept within this house and they started to breed as early as in February,1876. Followed by Mullick House, Burdwan House presently known as open air moated enclosure for lions, was constructed at a cost of Rs.35,000/-, the entire amount of which was donated by the Maharaja of Burdwan. Gradually other animal houses / enclosures came into being and named after their donors.

After the establishment of Central Zoo Authority in India in the year 1992, open air moated enclosures for primates, white tiger, Indian elephants , Indian lions and mugger, gharial & salt water crocodile were constructed with the financial help of Central Zoo Authority. During this period, remodelling of open air moated enclosure for hippopotamus was also carried out with the financial assistance of Government of West Bengal.

Since shifting of management of the Zoological Garden, Alipore from the Management Committee to the West Bengal Zoo Authority in the month of August, 2009, several developmental activities started at the Zoo and because of those activities face of the zoo changed enormously. Several outlived animal house like "Echidna House", "Balaram House" , "Kiosk House", "Jungle Fowl Enclosure", "Cat Cage", "Leanto Shed" etc. were demolished.