Wednesday, May 5, 2010

1-May-2010: Vandaloor Zoo, Chennai

Vandaloor Zoo is one of the largest zoo in India. It is situated in a village called Vandaloor on the outskirts of Chennai. The new name of this park is Kalaignar Anna Zoological Park. The zoo is so big that you must spare at least one day to enjoy all the animals in the zoo.

From Trips - Vandaloor Zoo May 10 Entrance to Vandaloor Zoo

It was the first zoo to be established in India in 1855. It is now spread over 1260 acres. It remains open on all days except Tuesdays from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

Chennai also has another attraction for nature lovers - the one and only one Madras Crocodile Bank. It was established by Romulus Whitekar. It breeds all kinds of reptiles. The reptiles are loaned to other zoos around the world. Lot of researchers are attached to study behavior of the reptiles. Due to the available time, we could see only Vandaloor Zoo. Initially I was bit sad that we will miss the Madras Crocodile Bank. But in the end, I was happy with the Zoo.

Chennai has other attractions very nearby - Mahabalipuram and Kanchipuram to name a few.

Getting there
The place is well connected by both road and rail.The zoo lies on 6-lane Chennai-Tiruchi Highway (National Highway 45), also known as the Grand Southern Trunk (GST) Road. Public buses A18 (Vandalur Zoo to Broadway), B18 (Vandalur Zoo to Korukkupettai), PP66 (Vandalur Zoo to Poonamalle), PP70 ((Vandalur Zoo to Avadi), 114 (Vandalur Zoo to Red Hills) apart from this other buses which goes to Guduvanchery, Chengalpet, Maraimalai Nagar, Mahendira City, Thiruporrur, Mamallapuram also stops at Vandalur Zoo. Chennai suburban railway network has a convenient stop named "Vandalur" which is at a distance of 1 KM from the zoo. Taxi is a preferred mode of transport for those not comfortable with public transport.

Since the zoo is very large, there are bicycles provided in the zoo at nominal charge. This is a wonderful concept, which can be implemented across all the places.

The zoo has lion safari. However the tickets are closed early. Unfortunately, we missed this part. Be early in the zoo to enjoy the safari.

There is good amount of information provided in the zoo about the directions and about the animals. However it is not maintained properly.

In some of the zoos in India as in Vandaloor Zoo, animals are kept in open area surrounded by a ditch. The animal gets little freedom. The enclosure can be tailor made to suite the animal. This is a good way to balance the animal and human interactions.

From Trips - Vandaloor Zoo May 10 Nilgiri Langoor

From Trips - Vandaloor Zoo May 10 Lion Tailed Macaque

From Trips - Vandaloor Zoo May 10 Barking Deer

From Trips - Vandaloor Zoo May 10 Spooted Deer

From Trips - Vandaloor Zoo May 10 Bison

From Trips - Vandaloor Zoo May 10 Tiger

From Trips - Vandaloor Zoo May 10 Indian Wild Ass

From Trips - Vandaloor Zoo May 10 Leopard (Pregnant Female)

From Trips - Vandaloor Zoo May 10 Flamingo

From Trips - Vandaloor Zoo May 10 Painted Stork

From Trips - Vandaloor Zoo May 10

From Trips - Vandaloor Zoo May 10 Baby Elephant

From Trips - Vandaloor Zoo May 10 Hippopotamus

From Trips - Vandaloor Zoo May 10 Ostrich

The arrangement of animals is not logical. The enclosures of animals and birds are intermixed. A section of the zoo could have been kept aside for similar animals or birds. Birds can be kept in some enclosure which can be accessed by the human without disturbing the birds. The snakes portion is not well maintained.

In Singapore Zoo, there are clear instructions not to use flash of your camera. This is to avoid damaging the eyes of the animals.

A lot of improvements can be made on the lines of Singapore Zoo and Bannerghatta National Park, where some of the animals are kept in open.

Due to lack of time, we had to skip some portion of the zoo. Butterfly, and aquarium section had to be skipped.

Overall, this zoo is worth seeing once provided you can spare the entire day for the zoo.

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