Sanjay Gandhi Jaivik Udyan (also known as Sanjay Gandhi Botanical and Zoological Garden or Patna Zoo) is located near Bailey Road in Patna, Bihar, India. The park was opened to the public as a zoo in 1973, and is one of the 16 largest zoos in the country
The Park was first established as a Botanical Garden in 1969. The then Governor of Bihar, Sri Nityanand Kanungo, provided almost 34 acres (14 ha) of land from the Governor House campus for the garden. In 1972, Public Works added 58.2 acres (23.6 ha) to this, and the Revenue Department transferred 60.75 acres (24.58 ha) to the Forest Department to help expand the park.
The rare White Tiger at Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park
Since 1973, this park has been a biological park, combining a botanical garden with a zoo. The land acquired from the Public Works Department and the Revenue Department was declared Protected Forest by the State Government on 8 March 1983.
The zoo is currently home to over 800 animals of about 110 species, including tiger, leopard, clouded leopard, hippopotamus, crocodile, Elephants, Himalayan black bear, jackal, black bucks, spotted deer, peafowl, hill myna, gharial, python, Indian rhinoceros, giraffe, and zebra, emu, and white peacock.
Having started as a botanical garden, the park currently contains more than 300 species of trees, herbs and shrubs. Plant exhibits include a nursery for medicinal plants, an orchid house, a fern house, a glass house, and a rose garden.
The park also includes an aquarium which is the largest revenue generator after the general admission fee. The aquarium has about 35 species of fish, and the snake house has 32 snakes belonging to 5 species.
Toy train at Sanjay Gandhi Biological park
Some of the major success of the zoo are
- The Great One-horned Rhinoceros has been bred successfully several times in the past. In 2008, Patna Zoo earned acclaim for its breeding techniques.
- First , Hippopotamus has given birth to a male hippo on 19 April 2001 and then several time in past.
- Leopard gave birth to 2 cubs on 18 June 2001. It is after a gap of 16 years that the leopard has bred successfully in the zoo.
- First, Alligator has bred for the first time in the zoo on 29 June 2001 and after that several time in past.The number of ghariyals or alligators here have gone up from 13 to 129 in the last five years.
- Porcupine has bred for the first time in the zoo on 12 June 2001 and given birth to 2-baby porcupines.
- 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 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 one horned rhino breeds successfully here.
- One hippopotamus has given birth to a male hippo on 19th April 2001.
- 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.