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Guwahati Zoo

Located within the lush green environment of the Hengrabari Reserved Forest at Guwahati, Assam, India, the Guwahati Zoo is officially known as the Assam State Zoo. The one-horned Indian rhinoceros, the stump-tailed Macaque, royal Bengal tiger, Hoolock gibbon, Himalayan black bear, Asiatic lion, a variety of avifauna and indigenous reptiles are encompassed in the zoos collection.

Officially known as the Assam State Zoo and located on R.G. Baruah Road in Guwahati, Assam, Guwahati Zoo, spread over an area of 1.75 square kilometers and founded in 1957 is the largest of its kind in the North East. Situated at one and a half hours drive from the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, it is close to the Guwahati railway station.

History

In 1957 when the 64th session of the Indian National Congress was held at Pandu in Guwahati, is when the Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden originated as a humble menagerie. For the entertainment of the delegates, the organizing committee had arranged, apart from other activities, for display of few birds and animals in a small exhibition. Spotty, a female Leopard cub was a hot favourite among the delegates and the star attraction of the collection. Since the animals had to be housed somewhere subsequent to the meeting, this fact necessitated the genesis of a zoo. The animals were first shifted to Jalukbari and then to Panbazar area of Guwahati. To create facilities to house the animals, a suitable and scenic area of 130 Hectares near a village called Japorigog in the Hengrabari Reserve forest. Established in 1957 and opened for the public in 1958, Spotty and her animal friends formed the seed collection. At the time of inception, the total number of animals and birds was 42 (22 species) and 236 (31 species) respectively. 

New paradigms and trends were accommodated over the years to what had started off as a mere exhibition of animals. A Museum and a Botanical Garden were added to the original layout in due course of time. Initially the focus was more on exhibiting more species rather than exotic eye-catching ones. During various periods of time the zoo had Kangaroos from Australia, Puma, Jaguar and Llama from S. America, Giraffes from Africa, White & Black Rhinos, Zebras, Ostriches and Chimpanzees. As zoos gained prominence as ex-situ conservation centers, with time, the importance shifted to indigenous species. Consequently, the ASZBG emphasized captive breeding programs and successfully bred several of them. For example, in an attempt for captive breeding, in 1974, 4 Pygmy Hogs were brought from Barnadi, RF and kept in special enclosures, away from visitors. This paid off as 4 youngs were born in 1976. Before succumbing to diseases, White-winged Ducks that were brought in 1970 also bred regularly in the park. The zoo is also a sourcebook for wildlife diversity that thrives in Guwahati city and its vicinity and also regularly receives rescued wildlife.

Animals

One of the larger members of the hornbill family Buceros bicornis, commonly known as Greater Indian Hornbill, Great Pied Hornbill and Two-horned Calao,  is scattered in the Indian forests, Sumatra, Indonesia and the Malay Peninsula. The Great Hornbill is not the longest but it is the heaviest Asian bird, 95-120 cm (38-47 in) long, with a wingspan of 152 cm (60 in) and a weight of 2.15–4 kg (4.7-8.8 lbs). is the black and bright yellow casque situated above its enormous bill. The hollow casque does not have any known function (“tame” hornbills seem to desire pleasure when they are scratched) Aerial casque butting flights are indulged in by male hornbills.

Location

Assam State Zoo-cum-Botanical Garden, R.G. Baruah Road, Guwahati-781005, Assam
Phone No - 0361- 2201363 (Office) / 2203331 (R)
E-mail:- [email protected]; [email protected]

Timings:

Park is open Saturday to Thursday 7 am to 4:30 pm in summer 8 am to 4 pm in winter.

Ticket and other charges:

Adults Rs. 10/- (Indian); Rs. 50/- (Foreigner)
Children Rs. 5/- (Indian); Rs. 25/- (Foreigner)
Students Rs. 5/- (Indian); Rs. 15/- (Foreigner)

Amateur Photographers:

Still camera without telelense Rs. 10/- (Indian); Rs. 20/- (Foreigner)
Still camera with telelense Rs. 50/- (Indian); Rs. 150/- (Foreigner)
8 mm Movie camera Rs. 100/- (Indian); Rs. 200/- (Foreigner)
16 mm Movie camera Rs. 300/- (Indian); Rs. 500/- (Foreigner)
Video camera Rs. 100/- (Indian); Rs. 200/- (Foreigner)

Professional Photographers:

Still camera Rs. 200/- (Indian); Rs. 200/- (Foreigner)
Movie camera Rs. 2000/- (Indian); Rs. 4000/- (Foreigner)
Video camera Rs. 1000/- (Indian); Rs. 2000/- (Foreigner)

Parking:

Car/Jeep: Rs. 100 (5 or more hours); Rs. 50/- (less thasn 5 hours)
Minibus/Bus: Rs. 250/- (5 or nore hours); Rs. 125/- (less than 5 hours)
Bicycle: Rs. 5/-
Scooter/Motorcycle: Rs. 25/- (5 or more hours); Rs. 15/- (less than 5 hours)

Visitors Amenities:

Guide maps, Restaurant Forest museum, Drinking water kiosks, toilets, First-aid (at Zoo Hospital), Publications, Visitors sheds at convenient location and a library.