Arignar Anna Zoological Park also known as the Vandalur Zoo, is a zoological garden located in Vandalur, a suburb 31 kilometres south of the city of Chennai, India and 15 kilometres from Chennai Airport on GST Road. The zoo is contiguous with the Guindy National Park. This park was the first public zoo in India. It is recognized by the Central Zoo Authority of India. Spread over an area of 1,488 acres including a 228 acre rescue and rehabilitation center.
Arignar Anna Zoological Park is the largest zoological garden in India and the home of seven white tigers. It houses more than 170 species of animals in about 81 enclosures. There are about 47 species of mammals, 63 species of birds, 31 species of reptiles, 5 species of amphibians, 25 species of fishes, and 10 species of insects in the park. Spread over an area of 1,265 acres, the Anna Zoological Park at Vandalur is the largest in South Asia with a rich variety of different species of mammals, reptiles and birds. The animals roam in natural surroundings with a special enclosure for nocturnal creatures. The coast road from Chennai to Mamallapuram is dotted with beach resorts, recreational areas and artist’s communities.
Many types of deer ranging from barking deer, sambar, blackbuck, nilgai, sangai, hog deer.
Monkey species – Nilgiri Langur, the endangered lion-tailed Macaque, Babboon, Hanuman Langur and Leaf capped Langur.
Wolf, Jackal, Hyena, llama and Otter.
Higher carnivores like the tiger, lion, panther, jaguar
Elephants, giraffes, deers and camels
Star tortoises and Snakes
Tropical mammals, birds and reptiles
A few exotic species like the Emu and Cassowary, which are flightless birds from Australia, attract attention. Other attractions in the zoo are:
Nocturnal animal house, Safari Park, A walk-through aviary , Pre-historic animal park , Reptile section , Prey-Predator enclosures , Zoo education and interpretation and an aquarium.
The enclosure for the king cobra has an air conditioner fitted, as it cannot stand the summer heat. The soaring temperature in Chennai is bound to give the animals a tough time. All the cages in the zoo are well protected. They have thatched roofs on the top of every enclosure and fresh river sand has been spread on the floor to make it cooler for the animals. Water is sprinkled on the sand to provide some cool relief to the animals. Caves that are exposed directly to the sun are put under a shower twice a day.
Stone boards reveal the zoological nature, feeding, mating and breeding habits of the animals. The trees bear placards with their botanical name and other details. The zoo is woody, with plenty of trees. There are tree-lined tar-topped paths for a long trek inside the zoo. You can make use of battery-operated vehicles plying inside the zoo area for a fee.
There is a ‘student zoo club’, whose members are imparted training and education about wildlife management, conservation, animal behavior, their habitats, ecosystems, education, animal adaptations, reproduction, nutrition, animal housing and husbandry.
Visiting Hours: 8.30am to 5.30pm (Tuesday Holiday)
Central to Vandalur : S500B, WE18V, S518EX
Koyambedu to Vandalur : X70A70, X114, S114, S70A70, S170T, S170A