Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park
The Park was established first as a Botanical Garden in the year 1969. The then Governor of Bihar, Sri Nityanand Kanungo, provided almost 34 acres of land from the Governor House Campus for its creation. Later on, in 1972, Public Works Dept. contributed another 58.2 acres and the Revenue Dept. transferred 60.75 acres of its land to the Forest Department to help develop this park further.
Since 1973, this park has been developed as Biological Park. The land acquired from Public Works Dept. and the Revenue Dept. were declared as Protected Forest by the State Govt. on 8th March, 1983. The park is classified as one of the 16 large zoos in the country.
Present Stock of Animals and Plants
The Botanical part of the park has more than 300 species of trees, herbs and shrubs. It has a nursery of medicinal plants, an orchid house, a fern house, a glass house, a rose garden and a number of grass lawns.
The zoo has more than 70 species of animals. These include tiger, lion, leopard, clouded leopard, rhino, hippo, crocodile, Himalayan bear, lion tailed macaque, leopard cat, hog deer, zebra, emu, white peacock, etc. There are more than 800 animals in the zoo. This park also has an Aquarium and a Snake House. The aquarium has about 35 species of fish and is the maximum revenue earner for the park after the gate entry fee. Snake house has 32 snakes belonging to 5 species.
National Zoo Policy
The National Zoo Policy adopted in October 1998 highlights the need for adequate financial and technical resources for effective functioning of the zoos across India. It lays emphasis on co-ordination between the zoos and eminent research/education institutions on various aspects of zoo and animal management. The zoo policy also aims at giving proper direction and thrust to the management of the zoos.
Special Features of the Zoo
- The park is a favourite place for Patnaites. About 7,50,000 visitors visit the park every year. The park remains closed on Mondays.
- This is the only zoo which provides free morning walk facility to the public from 5:00 am to 7:45 am.
- The zoo has acquired one white tiger in the first week of March from Nandan Kanan Zoo, Bhubaneshwar. This has improved the chances breeding of the tiger in the zoo.
- There is a single male zebra in the zoo. It is expected that a female zebra will arrive in the zoo if the Central Zoo Authority approves the proposal.
- The one horned rhino breeds successfully here.
- One hippopotamus has given birth to a male hippo on 19th April 2001.
- Leopard gave birth to 2 cubs on 18th June 2001. It is after a gap of 16 years that the leopard has bred successfully in the zoo.
- Alligator has bred for the first time in the zoo on 29th June 2001 and given birth to more than 30 hatchlings.
- Porcupine has bred for the first time in the zoo on 12th June 2001 and given birth to 2-baby porcupines.
- A Programme of classical music has been started from 8th April 2001 in the park for the morning walkers on the initiative of Shri B.N. Jha, the then Commissioner & Secretary, Department of Environment and Forest. The programme was held on every Sunday morning for the first three months. During rainy season the programme will be held once every month and thereafter twice every month.
- Under a special cleanliness drive the park is maintained very neat and clean.
- A major renovation work has been undertaken to repair and maintain the abandoned structures and projects.
- Park has been declared as a polythene free zone from 1th March 2001. The visitors were first persuaded for the first 15 days not to bring the polythene bags into the park and after that a complete ban has been imposed.
- The park has also been declared no-smoking zone.
- The wild animals do not get the natural surroundings in a zoo. Efforts have been made to make the surroundings resemble more with their natural habitat.
- The cleanliness of the enclosures has been improved.
- A new hospital has been planned with 100% assistance from the Central Zoo Authority.
- New and large enclosures for animals will be planned in future.
- The South-Western parts of the park are being developed. These areas were water logged and neglected to a large extent. A new lake is also being developed in the South-Western parts of the park