This month , Science Trail takes us to Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park, Tirupathi. The city known for its famous temple also houses one of the unique zoological parks in India. So the next time you are there, don’t forget to visit this excellent Science Destination.
Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park, named after the presiding deity of Tirupati, has been established on modern concepts of Zoo Management wherein the animals are exhibited in wider and near natural enclosures resembling to their natural habitat.
The foundation stone was laid on 29.09.1987 and the Zoo was opened to Public on 30.04.1993.
The message of Conservation of Nature with all its diversity is conveyed emphasizing the role of animal and plant life in Indian culture. Also ,an inscription at the entrance quotes “Beejammaamsarvabhootanam“ – “I am the eternal seed of all creation” which means that God exists in all living being reinforces the concept of conservation and being one with nature ingrained in the Indian cultural ethos.
The motto and objectives of the SV Zoological park
To act as an ex-situ facility for the conservation of native wildlife.
Close to 4.8 lac visitors enjoyed their visit to this exclusive location last year (2013-14) and the Zoo offers fun, education and exclusive concepts to make each visit memorable and enjoyable.
The total area earmarked for the Zoo is 2212 Ha, which is largest in India and Asia. Out of this around 250 Ha has been developed so far. Presently the animals are housed in 76 enclosures.
The number of animals and species housed in the zoo
|Sl. No.||Particulars||Number of Species||Total numbers|
Carnivores: All major Carnivores like Tiger, Lion and Leopardare displayed in large spacious enclosures with mythological names like ShakthiVanam, BharathVanam, BageeraVanam respectively. A leopard named “Balaji” weighs around 138 Kg, perhaps is the largest leopard ever recorded in the Zoo died in 2013. In the “Vrikavihar”, lesser carnivores like Jackals, Hyena, Wild dogs are exhibited.
Herbivores: Leading this group is the gigantic “Gentle giant “, the Indian Elephant. At present there are 2 bulls, one cow elephant, and one calf. An airy, open house facility has been provided to give them protection from the scorching sun and a pleasant water pool for a pleasure dip. Separate spacious enclosures are provided for Bear, Chital, Sambar, Barasingha, Nilgai, Black Buck, Chinkara, Wild boar and Chowsingha, reflecting their natural habitat. Giraffe and Indian Gaur have also been added to our animal collection.
Primates: There are 5 primates in this Zoo housed in a group of 3 enclosures, which is called Kishkinda. The Hamadryas Baboons are housed in Angadadweep and Validweep, Rhesus macaques in Sugreevadweep. All these Islands are named after the Vanara stalwarts of Ramayana. Olive baboons, Mandrill and Stump tallied monkey are housed in a wet moat called Nala-Neeladweep. The Common Langur (or) Hanuman Langur is displayed in a separate langur enclosure.
Birds: One of the most beautiful bird is the India’s National Bird, the Indian Peafowl. This is one of the popular exhibits in pheasants enclosure. The other exhibits in the pheasantry are Golden pheasant, Lady Amhrest’s Pheasant, Ring necked pheasant, Silver pheasant, Khaleej pheasant, Grey jungle fowl, Red jungle fowl, Partridges, Quails, White peafowl and Painted spur-fowl. The closed water bird aviary hosts the painted storks, purple heron, white ibis, Grey Pelican etc. Flight less birds like Emu and Ostrich have been added to the existing bird collection.
Conservation Breeding: This Zoo has been successfully breeding Grey Jungle Fowl. The Central Zoo Authority, New Delhi has selected this Zoo for establishment of off display Conservation Breeding Centre for Grey Jungle Fowl and the construction of off-display breeding centre for Grey Jungle Fowl is in progress.
In designing the enclosures, the physical, biological and social requirements of animals are given the highest priority.
Care needs to be taken to ensure enclosures out line should blend with the surroundings so that these do not standout prominently.
In designing an enclosure adequate measures need to be taken to ensure the safety of animals, caretakers and visitors.Suitablenatural or artificial shelters and retreat areas should be provided for animals in open out-door enclosures.
Enclosures / holding areas should be equipped with proper flooring, sleeping quarters / platforms, feeding and water troughs, bedding material, perches, nesting boxes, water features etc., in accordance with the needs of the species.
Separate accommodation should be provided for pregnant animals and animals with very young offspring where this would be appropriate in the interest of avoiding unnecessary stress and ensuring safety and care.
Animal Nutrition: The Zoo has got a fodder plot of 10 acres where Napier grass and other fodder species are grown to meet the food requirements of herbivores housed in the Zoo. Rest of the food items like fruits and vegetables, beef, chicken, fish etc. are procured from various feed suppliers on tender basis.
General care, maintenance and welfare of captive wild animals:
Newly received animals should be kept under isolation / quarantine in a separate accommodation Handling of the animals should be done only by authorized zoo staff and this should be done with utmost care. Under no circumstances the animals should be provoked or unduly distributed for the benefit of the visitors.Ensure that the physical carrying capacity of the enclosure is not over burdened. Meet the requirements of the species to breed and rear their young ones.
Animal Rescue Centre: In Andhra Pradesh, Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park, Tirupati and Indira Gandhi Zoological Park, Vishakapatnam, were selected for setting up Animal Rescue Centres to accommodate rescued Lions and Tigers from various Circuses all over the country. Accordingly two blocks were constructed at Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park, Tirupati to house them. Presently there are 28 lions in the Animal Rescue Centre of the Zoo.
Veterinary Care: The Zoo Hospital is well equipped with Operation Theater, laboratory, mobile X-ray machine, post mortem unit etc. Presently there is only one Veterinary Assistant Surgeon working in the Zoo on outsourcing basis.
Safari Park: Lion Safari Park with an area of 14 Ha was opened during 2009.
Butterfly Park: Open Butterfly Park is being developed by planting host plants and various flowering plants
Pollution: To promote eco friendly technologies and to reduce vehicular pollution Battery operated vehicles have been provided for visitors on tariff.
Bio-scope: A Zoo education centre called “Bioscope” has been developed near the entrance where wildlife exhibits, on “Seshachalam theme’’ are displayed.
General Amenities and convenience
A visitor amenities complex “Zoo Inn” has been developed in front of the Zoo main entrance with cafeteria, children’s park, retiring room, souvenir stall, toilets, Parking etc. to facilitate more number of visitors/pilgrims to the Zoo Park to make the visit hassle free and fun
Administration: The management of zoo is a multidisciplinary team work which requires inputs from various disciplines such as personnel management, planning, finance, biology, veterinary science, horticulture, sanitation, security, public relations, education, research, engineering etc., the organizational setup of a zoo should, therefore be suitably structured so as to provide for professional inputs from these disciplines. The organizational set up of SVZP, Tirupati is given below: