Home > Animal, General Knowledge, Place > 170/365 – Arignar Anna Zoological Park

170/365 – Arignar Anna Zoological Park

Arignar Anna Zoological Park, also known as the Vandalur Zoo, is a zoological garden located in Vandalur, a suburb in the southwestern part of Chennai, India, about 31 kilometres from the city centre and 15 kilometres from Chennai Airport on GST Road.

The zoo is contiguous with the Guindy National Park. Founded in 1855, the park was the first public zoo in India. It is recognized by the Central Zoo Authority of India.

Spread over an area of 602 hectares, including a 92.45-hectare rescue and rehabilitation center, the park is the largest zoological garden in India and is home to seven white tigers.

It houses more than 170 species of animals in about 81 enclosures. There are about 47 species of mammals, 63 species of birds, 31 species of reptiles, 5 species of amphibians, 25 species of fishes, and 10 species of insects in the park.

The park, with an objective to be a repository of the state’s fauna, is credited with being the state’s second wildlife sanctuary after Mudumalai.


In 1854, Dr. Edward Balfour, then director of the Government Central Museum at Madras, persuaded the Nawab of the Carnatic to donate his entire animal collection to the museum. This attracted large crowds and became the nucleus of the Madras Zoo, which was founded in 1855.

Dr. Belford started the zoo on the museum premises, and it was later transferred to the Madras Corporation and shifted to ‘People’s Park’ near Central station at Park Town in 1861 as it was growing.

The zoo was the first to hold an All-India Zoo Superintendents Conference in 1955, as part of the centenary celebrations. The zoo is named after Tamil politician Arignar Anna.


In January 2002, when a panther from the Vandalur reserve forest entered into the zoo premises, the zoo was closed over 45 days to facilitate search for the animal. After several attempts, the animal was finally trapped, and it was named after the zoo keeper, Arumugam, who first noticed the feline in the trap cage and alerted his superiors.

On 12 November 2007, a 13-ft long reticulated python was found in a ventilator inside the pygmy hippopotamus enclosure in the zoo. One of the zoo officials said the rescued python could have escaped from its enclosure, when it was young, 4 to 5 years ago. When the workers were trying to take the reptile, it bit one of the animal keepers, but since it was a non-poisonous one, the animal keeper was provided treatment for the injury. The reptile was feeding on small mammals, roaming freely inside the zoo, which helped it survive without any problem.

On the night of 10 July 2010, three sand boas, out of five in the enclosure, were reported stolen from the zoo.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arignar_Anna_Zoological_Park

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