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History of Zoos


Since time immemorial, animals have been kept by people for work, warfare, food and entertainment. Emperors aand kings maintained collections of wild animals in their palaces as a status symbol and for their amusement. It was in 1959 that the first animal collection came to be build as a zoo in Schonbrum near Vienna.

Zoos around the world started in many different ways. Most of the early zoos started as private collections. Their popularity among the public eventually opened them to visitors. Most large zoos started a private collections. Their popularity among the public eventually them to visitors. Most large zoos were founded by either private societies or by municipalities.

In India: Ancient Hindu literature is full of references to wild animals and many a Hindu god has an animal vahana. It is said that Gautama Buddha gave his first Discourse in a deer park. Ashrams of Rishis had deer and birds of various kinds. Deer parks were commonly maintained in ashrams.Private menageries and shikarkhanas were kept by emperors, maharajas, nawabs and the British. The first zoo was probably the one started by Raja Rajendra Mallick in his private mansion in 1854. It is popularly known as the Marble palace Zoo and is still in existence in Calcutta. Raja Mallick in his private mansion still in existence in Calcutta. Raja Mallick was also one of the persons reponsible for establishing the Alipore Zoological Garden. Different kinds of birds and animals were brought for display here and were visited by several people from near and far away places.

Madras Zoo founded in 1855 can probably claim to being India's first zoo to begin as a result of a visitor pressure.

Col. Edward Balfour of the Government Central Museum, Madras had a young cheetah and a young tiger in the museum for a few months in 1854. He noted that there was a tremendous increase in the number of visitors. When the animals were removed, the figures fell alarmingly. He noted down the fluctuation in numbers, and prompted by this visitor information, the Madras Zoo was started. The zoo was closed down in 1980 and shifted to a new area. The zoo was closed down in 19800 and shifted to a new area. The new Zoological Park, known as the Arignar Anna Zoological Park is at Vandalur, near Chennai (Madras) and is based on modern concepts of zoo design. in 1955, the first All India meeting , the topics of discussion included education, conservation and setting up of insect zoos. At that time, zoos were administered under the India Board for Wildlife.

The Venkateswara Zoological Park in Tirupati, Indira Gandhi Zoological Park in Vishakhapatnam, the Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad, National Zoological Park in Hyderabad, National Zoological Park in New Delhi, Arignar Anna Zoological Park at Vandalur, Chennai and Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Park in Mysore are some of the innovative zoos that have come up in the last three decades.


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