Situated in Vandalur, about 35-km from
Chennai, the Anna
zoological park is one of the latest and modern zoos of India and the
biggest in South East Asia. Spreading over an area of 510 hectares of dry
evergreen forests with gently undulating terrain, the specially created
open island type enclosures with wet and dry moats and enclosures with
hidden walls and simulated natural environment make the animals, feel in
their natural environment.
The Anna zoological park situated in the outskirts of Chennai was created out of the Reserve Forests of Vandalur. The forests are of dry deciduous and dry evergreen scrub type. It was in the year 1855 the first Zoo in India was established in Chennai; later on in 1979 it was shifted to its present location at Vandalur.
After initial constructions the zoo was opened to public in 1985. After the zoo was inaugurated in 1985, it has undergone a lot of improvement, with new animals making their home and breeding and more and more features like the Jurassic Park, Nocturnal section, reptile section, aquarium, etc.
Attractions Within The Zoo
More than 170 species of mammals, aviaries and reptiles are exhibited. Lion safari vehicle, Elephant ride, battery operated vehicles are some of the facilities available inside this park.
The Zoo Animals
Now there are as many as 81 enclosures - 6 types of deer from Barking Deer, Sambar, Blackbuck, Nilgai, Sangai, Hog Deer, Wolf, Jackal, Hyena, Llama, Otter, a number of Monkey species from Nilgiri Langur to the endangered Lion-tailed Macaque, Baboon, Hanuman Langur and Leaf-capped Langur, an aviary specially for Vedantangal birds and another for Point Calimere ones, then the higher carnivores like the beautiful tiger, the majestic Lion, Panther, Jaguar, etc. to the Elephants, Giraffes and Camels.
Environmental Awareness Programs
Apart from the range of animal life, there's plenty of environment information to be picked up by everybody. Near every enclosure, there are stone boards talking about the zoological name, its feeding, mating and breeding habits and seasons apart from the place where it is endemic. Trees have placards with their botanical names and other details. A library is also open to public on Mondays and Fridays.
Learning The Adventurous Way
Environmental awareness and education form an integral part of the zoo's activities. Educational programs have been launched for students (pre-primary, primary and higher secondary and college) and teachers and other visitors.
Apart from this, members of the `Student Zoo Club' get valuable experience as they get exposed to adventure while getting educated about wildlife management, conservation, animal behaviour, their habitats, ecosystems, evolution, animal adaptations, reproduction, nutrition, animal housing and husbandry. The membership is open for 2 years for which they also get a certificate. The club is currently having a membership of about 150 members.
Interestingly, of the more than 8 lakh visitors to the zoo every year, about 3 lakh are students. For those visitors who may find the long trek inside a bit arduous, can ride on the battery vehicles plying inside for a fee.
Timings: 8.00 am to 3.00 pm
Closed On: Tuesday.
Private vehicles are not allowed inside.
School students are given half concession on production of a letter from the concerned school Headmaster.
Chennai has an
airport with both domestic and international terminals. Regular flights
connect Chennai with the major cities within the country and also with
countries like USA, Singapore, U.K etc.
Rail: Chennai is well connected by rail with the important towns and cities within and beyond the state. Vandalur also has a railway station.
Road: State transport buses and private buses connect Chennai with the major towns and cities within the country. For local transportation local trains, city buses, auto rickshaws and taxis are also available.
Being the capital city of the state, Chennai is well equipped with various kinds of accommodation options, varying from economic class to luxurious ones.