Mysore Zoo (officially the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens) is a 245-acre (99 ha) zoo located near the palace in Mysore, India. It is one of the oldest and most popular zoos in Southern India, and is home to a wide range of species. Mysore Zoo is one of the city’s most popular attractions. It was established under royal patronage in 1892, making it one of the oldest zoos in the world.
While mainly depending on entry fees for its financing, an adoption scheme introduced in the early 2000s at Mysore Zoo has been a success, with celebrities, institutions, and animal lovers contributing directly to the welfare of the zoo inmates
Mysore Zoo was originally created in 1892 on 10 acres (4.0 ha) of the summer palace of Maharaja Chamaraja Wodeyar, and was originally called the Palace Zoo. The zoo was originally set up by G.H. Krumbeigal, a German landscaper and horticulturist. Over the next 10 years the zoo was expanded to 45 acres (18 ha) with spacious enclosures that are still in use.
The zoo was opened to the public in 1902, and now includes a bandstand and an artificial lake. It was gifted to the Department of Parks and Gardens of the Mysore State Government in 1948. The zoo was expanded first with another 50 acres (20 ha), and then another 150 acres (61 ha) with the acquisition of the Karanji Tank (Karanji reservoir), in which an artificial island has been created as a sanctuary for birds.
Mysore Zoo is also notable for the breeding of many exotic species like Zebra, Barberry Sheep, Emu, Giraffe, Kangaroo, Chimpanzee, Hippo, Great Indian, One-Horned Rhino, Sangai, Tiger, etc. Endangered species like Four Horned Antelope, Mouse Deer, Civet, Caracal, Chinkara, Nilgiri Langur, Ring Tailed Lumur, Binturong, Leopard, etc. are also reared and bred in Mysore Zoo.
Mysore Zoo consists of spacious enclosures, pathways and a veterinary hospital with all modern facilities for animal care. It also encloses Karanji Tank which has been converted to a mini sanctuary for avian species.
Located at a distance of about 2 km from Mysore Palace, Mysore Zoo is spread over approximately 250 acres. There is a battery operated vehicle to take visitors through the zoo which costs about INR 125. It takes a minimum of two hours to cover the zoo and tickets are sold from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm.