- Type: Zoos/Aquariums
- Localyte author: Rajarshi
- Great place to see captive wild animals especially tigers in a natural enclave surrounded by a moat The Zoo in Kolkata is unique in many ways. It is a historic Zoo and when history blends with nature, it makes for a heady concoction. In 19th century Bengal, Kolkata was at par with cities of the stature of London and Paris. It was after all the capital of the mighty British East India Company. Thus, the enlightened British citizens of Kolkata would very often draw comparisons with the "Jardin de Plantes" of France and the famous "Zoological Society of London". As years passed by, the crème de la crème of Kolkata comprising of Burra Sahibs and the quintessential Bengali Babus, pitched vociferously for a Zoological Garden that could match with their counterparts elsewhere in Europe. Thus, was born the Alipur Zoological Garden in undulating 45 acres of land allotted by the erstwhile EastIndia Company. Once the task of acquiring animals were complete, the garden was all set for a royal launch and significantly on the 1st of January, 1876, King Edward VII inaugurated this incredible Zoo. Incredible, because it was the first Zoo in the whole of Asia. Some recognition, this. Today, as you meander along the well-maintained pathways of the Zoological Garden, you witness a wide variety of flora and fauna. Of special significance is the rare and elusive "White Tiger" which is facing the threat of extinction. Apart from the White Tiger, the biggest surprise of the Kolkata Zoo is of course the 250-year-old giant Tortoise. Legend has it that this Tortoise was already 120+ when it moved to the Kolkata Zoo way back in the year 1876. Very aptly, this giant Tortoise has been christened as "Adyaita" or the incomparable one. The fact that it has survived all of 250 years, makes it a wonder of the natural world and belongs to an elite group of ambhibians. The Alipur Zoo has many firsts to its credit. For instance, the Zoo has played a pioneering role in bringing back the rare Manipur Brow Antlered Deer from virtual extinction. As you chat up with a friendly Zoo guide, you would be amazed to know that this Zoo was among the first Zoos in the country to have successfully bred Giraffes and as far as coss breeding is concerned, the first Zoo in India to produce Tigions and Litigons. Once inside the Zoo, don't miss out on the portly Hippopotamus enclosure. The two Hippos are new entrants and are housed in an exclusive 2,700 sq. meter open-air enclosure.
- The description was provided by Rajarshi
- Alipore, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
- No Sweat
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