Chennai India    

Vandalur Zoo

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Chennai Vandalur Zoo

The Arignar Anna Zoological Park, popularly known as the Vandalur Zoo is located in Vandalur, which is about 30 kilometers from Chennai city. Madras has the distinction of having the first public zoo in India as early as 1855. It was originally situated near Park town in the Chennai city.

In 1975 the zoo had expanded and moved out of the Chennai city. The Tamilnadu Forest department shifted this zoo to Vandalur reserve forest in 1979. The zoo is located on an area of 1300 acres. The zoo was formally inaugurated in year 1985. This zoo is one of the largest in South Asia.

The Vandalur zoo has undergone a lot of improvement with new animals making their comfortable home here. A wide range of animal life is habitated in this zoo. Animals can be seen in large open island type enclosure, with wet and dry moats and hidden walls with simulated natural environment. There are totally 81 enclosures. More than 170 species of mammals, aviaries and reptiles are exhibited in the zoo.

  • Many types of deer ranging from barking deer, sambar, blackbuck, nilgai, sangai, hog deer.

  • Monkey species - Nilgiri Langur, the endangered lion-tailed Macaque, Babboon, Hanuman Langur and Leaf capped Langur.

  • Wolf, Jackal, Hyena, llama and Otter.

  • Higher carnivores like the tiger, lion, panther, jaguar

  • Elephants, giraffes, deers and camels

  • Star tortoises

  • Snakes

  • Tropical mammals, birds and reptiles.

A few exotic species like the Emu and Cassowary, which are flightless birds from Australia, attract attention. Other attractions in the zoo are:
  • Nocturnal animal house

  • Safari Park

  • A walk-through aviary

  • Pre-historic animal park

  • Reptile section

  • Prey-Predator enclosures

  • Zoo education and interpretation

  • An aquarium.

The enclosure for the king cobra has an air conditioner fitted, as it cannot stand the summer heat. The soaring temperature in Chennai is bound to give the animals a tough time. All the cages in the zoo are well protected. They have thatched roofs on the top of every enclosure and fresh river sand has been spread on the floor to make it cooler for the animals. Water is sprinkled on the sand to provide some cool relief to the animals. Caves that are exposed directly to the sun are put under a shower twice a day.


Stone boards reveal the zoological nature, feeding, mating and breeding habits of the animals. The trees bear placards with their botanical name and other details. The zoo is woody, with plenty of trees. There are tree-lined tar-topped paths for a long trek inside the zoo. You can make use of battery-operated vehicles plying inside the zoo area for a fee.

There is a 'student zoo club', whose members are imparted training and education about wildlife management, conservation, animal behavior, their habitats, ecosystems, education, animal adaptations, reproduction, nutrition, animal housing and husbandry.

Vandalur Zoo