What are the attractions in Lahore Zoo
What services are being provided to the visitors, and how Lahore Zoo is playing the role of raising awareness and educating people about endangered animals and their environment?
As a wildlife researcher and an animal activist, I’ve been working with different animal species and have spent time in many natural parks and zoos. I’m interested in getting to know about zoo animals in Lahore and wildlife of Pakistan – the animals and species, facilities and services, and awareness programs – as I’ve been planning to visit Lahore this fall. If possible can anyone provide some Lahore Zoo pictures?
Lahore Zoo in Pakistan is the third oldest zoos in the world and one of the largest zoos in South Asia. It covers an area of 25 acres, and houses a collection of nearly 1400 animals of some 130 species. It was established in 1872 and presently run by the wildlife and Parks department of the Government of Pakistan. The zoo is home to some 1285 trees of 70 species and 1370 animals of various species including 990 birds, 350 mammals of 45 species and 82 species of 50 reptiles. More than 3 million people including tourists visit Lahore Zoo throughout a year.
Areas and Attractions
- Tiger House was built in 1872 for just a few hundred Pakistan rupees and later renovated in 1987. It contains 7 rooms and two moats which presently house lions, Bengal tigers, leopards, a pair of Cougars and a pair of Asian black bears.
- Elephant House was built in 1872 for 500,000 Pakistani Rupees on zoo’s 100th anniversary and a female bush elephant, named Suzi, was brought to zoo the same year. The also house African Hippos and white rhinoceros.
- Giraffe House has dromedary camels, a pair of giraffe, variable number of plain zebras and two Bactrian camels. It also houses three species of flightless birds.
- Deer House is house to more mammals than any other house including axis deer, blue bull, fallow deer, sika deer, red deer, mouflon and Indian gazelle. It also contains threatened species of hog deer, urial and samber.
- Monkey House became more popular when two part of chimpanzees were brought in 1994 and soon gave birth to triplets. Other animals in the house include grey langurs, olive baboons, vervet monkeys and capuchin monkeys.
- Crocodile Ponds is one of the most popular exhibits of the zoo. One pond contains female gharials, and the other pond houses a variety of aquatic birds including greater flamingos, black swans, mule swans and great white pelicans.
- Snake House was closed in June 2007 and reopened in 2010. It houses species including Indian sand boas, Indian pythons, Indian cobras and Russell’s vipers.
- Fancy Aviary houses variety of species of birds including fowls, parrots, doves and pigeons. It also contains European rabbits, spur-thighed tortoises, Indian wolves, Indian crested porcupines, a jungle cat and a wild boar.
Lahore Zoo has around 1285 trees of 70 species and many of those species have information boards to stimulate education. Species include ditabark, silk cotton tree (sumbal) shisham, bobari, sausage, bottle palm, Indian beech, jujube and many more.
Lahore Zoo Safari was started in January 2009 and it’s also called Woodland Wildlife Park. Safari is located at 30 miles from Lahore Zoo and species include emu, lion, mute swan, nilgai, ostrich, silver pheasant, Bengal tigers, common pheasant and Indian peafowl. The park had been through managerial chances and shifts because of poor staff performance. New staff has been doing excellent job and constantly working thgather to improve the park. Ticketing system has been introduced recently in the park to make it a self-financed organization.
Maps and instruction boards are placed in zoo for guiding and educating the visitors. In early 2008, umbrella benches, drinking water coolers, new dust bins, pavements and the cafeteria were added and old ones were renovated as part of basic structural updates.
Kiran Saleem is the education officer of Lahore Zoo. The zoo organizes guided tours for schools and colleges as well as placing info boards to educated visitors about animals and plants housed in the zoo. Now children can touch animal parts like skin, horns, eggs and feathers since touch tables have been set up by the zoo administration. The zoo has also prepared posters to aware people about endangered species in Pakistan such as Indus River Dolphins.
In 2009, zoo distributed regarding importance of vultures in the ecosystems and reasons of rapid declination of Indian white-rumped vultures.
In recent years, zoo has been celebrating world animal day and world environmental day. For the first time in the history of Lahore Zoo, it started publication, a newsletter, as a part awareness and education programme.
Electronic rides and camel rides are available for kids in the zoo and the zoo has plenty of space for people to picnic and enjoyment. A waterfall has been built recently for visitors and statues of different animals and birds have been place at various parts of the zoo.
In 2005, Lahore zoo and WWF Pakistan opened a gift store. Marketing head of WWF stated that revenue earned would be distributed in half between the Lahore zoo and WWF Pakistan. Lahore zoo uses the profits to improve the zoo and start awareness programs while WWF will use the profits for the conservation of nature in Pakistan. The items include shirts, shorts, bags, jewelry, mugs, posters, caps and many more.
Breeding Efforts for endangered species
- Asian Black Bear: In 2009, a rescued female bear was given to Lahore Zoo by WWF and the zoo was successful in breeding the species.
- Chimpanzees: A pair name Romeo and Juliet successful gave birth to a male chimp and a female chimp.
- Hippopotamus: A 6 years old hippo was bought by the zoo in 1974 and in July 2006, zoo bought a 6 year old female hippo for the male. However, experts said it was senseless because male had passed his reproductive stage long time ago.
- Leopard: In 2008, zoo officials said that a 7 year old leopard was brought to the zoo for breeding but the effort was unsuccessful.
Lahore Zoo will start renting animals other countries and this will give chance to local population to learn and understand more about various animals around the globe. The zoo has been planning to rant two big pandas from China and once it gets a sponsor, Lahore zoo management will send a request to Chinese government for the panda, which is very famous around the world. To inspect housing and facilities in Chinese officials will visit Lahore Zoo and then send the animals to Pakistan.
Visit official website http://lahorezoo.com.pk/
Lahore Zoo timings: 9am – 7pm
Safari zoo / Lahore Zoo Video