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Sayaji Baug Zoo – History and Present Status

The Inspiration of a Zoo in Baroda came from H. H. Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III – a Great Visionary Ruler of Baroda.

It was way back in 1875 when a tract of land on the bank of river Vishwamitri, on the outskirts of the city was chosen by the Maharaja to develop a vast garden and a zoo.

The Maharaja donated his own private collection of Indian and Exotic Animals to the Zoo, and on 8th January 1879, the park was declared open to the public.

Since then Sayaji Baug Zoo has a rich history of wildlife heritage, and has evolved as an institution for education and research.

With the establishment of Central Zoo Authority in 1992, new trends in Zoo management replaced old enclosures of concrete and iron bars by open moats, dry or filled with water, glass and other non obstructive barriers are used to give the visitor a feeling that there is nothing between himself and the animal. Sayaji Baug Zoo is in the process of following CZA guidelines in to. Zoo is designed to suit the individual needs of the species to be housed and care is taken that the environment is representative to the animals natural habitat.

Presently, the Sayaji Baug Zoo is dived in three section (1) Bird Section, (2) Bear Section (Rinchh Khana), (3) Tiger section (Wagh Khana), with 212 animals of 18 species, 583 birds of 64 species and 79 reptiles of 7 species. These includes 4 species from the Cat family, 5 species of Primates and 9 species of Ungulates. Total number of animals is 874 of 89 species.

This green space serves as green lungs of the city.

Zoo has developed the ultra modern hospital with modern equipments and experienced doctors of the subject for well being of the animals. The hospital also stocks Medicines.

In normal course Indian Pied Horn Bill and Blue Crown Pigeon breed in captive condition at our Zoo. This is probably the first incident in the history of Indian Zoo where Pied Horn Bill has been successfully bred.

In October, 1993 Sayaji Baug hosted an International workshop on the Asiatic Lion, which was attended by more than 130 experts from different countries like USA, France, Germany, UK etc. including Indian experts of the subjects. The workshop touched upon various aspects relevant to the formulation and implementation of effective strategies in regard to :
a) Identification of all such areas and loopholes so that their population flourished.
b) Comprehensive measures for conservation and preservation of Asiatic lion.
c) Long-term survival of lion and establishing alternative homes for the Asiatic Lions in our country. By hosting such seminar in itself is a comprehensive measure towards the conservation of Asiatic lion and other wild life.

The past history and its present status shows that Sayaji Baug Zoo maintained its identity as a Centre of Research, Education and Conservation. The Zoo shall be used for the breeding programme for lesser animals, which have disappeared in wild. In a way, saving the splendour wildlife heritage.

As per the C.Z.A. guidelines laid down to keep all the birds and animals in open moated enclosures and natural environment. For getting financial aid it is compulsory to follow above stated conditions.

V.M.S.S. has also adopted the guidelines and tried to provide biological requirement to all the animals, an ideal habitat of wildlife. However the present size of cages and enclosures are not as per the mandatory standards of C.Z.A.

Moreover the zoo is located on the Bank of Vishwamitri river, and on accent of flood many a time, animals are required to be shifted and there are incidents casualty during the floods.

Considering all aspects in mind V.M.S.S. has decided to create such Zoo near Aiwa Sarovar besides Vrundavan Garden. This will serve as extra attraction it the tourist, who visit Vadodara city.

Proposed Zoo shall cover around 100 acres of land and its initial cost will be approximate Rs. 12.00 Crores. It will consist open moated enclosures for wild animals, cages for birds, ungulate compounds and primates cages, along with Ultramodern Medical facilities shall also be available for the well being of animals.

Enclosures of lion, tiger, wolf, jackal, blackbuck, and road, water supply, light, and other facility are ready. V.M.S.S. Zoo shall be in a position to acquire the rarely available wild animals from National & International sources and authorities.

Presently Ajwa Sarovar and Vrudavan garden is one of the best site seeing spot and after the addition of this Zoo this will be an added advantage for both Domestic as well as International Tourism.

Human being can bring about heaven on the earth only by such harmonious co-existence.