Central Zoo: The Only Zoo of Nepal

The zoo is a five minute walk from Shaligram. It is the  only zoo of Nepal, and was established by the late Rana Prime Minister Juddha Shumshere Rana in 1932 as a private zoo. With the political changes in 1950, the ownership of the private zoo came under the Government of Nepal. Over the years, the management of the zoo remained under various Departments of the Government. On the auspicious occasion of the Golden Jubilee Birthday Celebration of the Late Majesty King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah in December 1995, the Government of Nepal formally entrusted overall management responsibility of the zoo to the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) for 30 years.

The Trust is an autonomous, non-profit making organization, established in 1982 by Legislative Act to work in the field of biodiversity with the peoples participation.

The zoo at present aims at developing it as a centre for recreation, conservation education and wildlife research within the given ideology of modern zoo philosophy. However, the zoo is also a site of historical and cultural significance for multi-ethnic communities where every year more than a million visitors visit it. In festivals like Bhoto Jatra, tens of thousands of visitors visit the zoo. The zoo has housed a total of 1,013 animals representing 116 different species of mammals, birds, reptiles and fish. Big mammals like the tiger, rhino and hippo are the major attractions. The zoo is not only a place to see wildlife but is also a site of historical and cultural significance for a diverse group of people.

"The future of human kind greatly depends on the extensive and effective education in environment and conservation. The zoos of the world have a unique role to play in the global effort to educate people (The world zoo conservation strategy) thus NTNC is committed to develop the central zoo as a center of excellence for “Conservation Education and Wildlife Research”

Animals at the Zoo:

The central zoo covers an area of six hectares. The zoo has a collection of some 957 animals and 119 species. Among these, 33 are mammals, 61 are birds, 8 are reptiles and 17 are fish species. The central zoo exhibits 15 out of 38 endangered animal species of Nepal. They are exhibited in spacious enclosures, which simulate their habitat. The zoo has initiated an animal exchange program with other zoos abroad and has brought some exotic wildlife species such as the Siamang, Ostrich, Hippopotamus and some bird species which are being displayed successfully.

Animal Sponsership:

Under the zoo animal welfare scheme, the zoo has already started an Animal Sponsorship program since 1997. This program is mainly to support animal feeding. The sponsorship cost varies according to the species, number and enclosure size. The sponsorship program will allow the sponsors to earn an appreciation from the million visitors through advertising their name at designated place provided by the zoo.

Conservation Education:

The zoo annually receives around one million visitors and is imparting conservation education to over 200,000 students. The central zoo offers two types of conservation education programs; i) based on school requests and ii) based on memberships (friends of the zoo program)

On school requests, the zoo also offers some programs to non-member students such as slide shows, guided tour and the volunteer program.

Friends of the Zoo (FOZ) is a membership based on the conservation education program. The zoo organizes yearly scheduled conservation educational activities for the FOZ members. It aims to raise awareness about nature and wildlife conservation and issues concerning this program is open to all.

The Children Park:

Treat you children to a day of great fun at the children park. There is never a dull moment at the children park. Your children can amuse themselves on slides and swings, can take a train ride.

Other Activities:

Boat rides in the pond and elephant rides are available to visitors.