Saturday, June 02, 2007

Dhaka Zoo

Darus Salam Road, Mirpur

Dhaka Zoo Entry gate

Zoo office inside

View from inside

Enclosure for primates

Interior pathway

Curious visitors

Zebra corner

Keshowari (Emu)

Bumper Jack fruits in Zoo compound

Tame elephant preparing for joy rides on payment

Lonely Rhino

Resting ground


Big Cat corner

Black Bear

Indian Lion


Birds and snake area

Large birds inside

Virgin land

Jack fruits

Peacock corner attracts many

Peacock dance - will the current dry spell end soon?

Lake - sanctuary for guest birds during winter

Hippo in water

Open enclosure for Tigers and Lions

Royal Bengal Tiger gazing at the deers next door protected by wire fence

Unconcerned spotted and barking deers (Chitra and Maya) grazing in the field

Zoological Garden (Chiriyakhana): Dhaka Zoo, the largest zoo in Bangladesh, situated in Mirpur about 16 km away from the centre of Dhaka city. It is the national zoo under the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock. The zoo began its journey in the early 1950s at the east part of present Ramna park in Dhaka with few monkeys, snake, birds, deers, a cheetah and elephant. Later a board for managing zoo was created in 1961 and the zoo was moved to its present location Mirpur acquiring more native and non-native animals from internal and foreign countries during ‘60’s. It was ceremonially opened for public on June 23, 1974.

The zoo occupies an area of about 75 ha. in a picturesque setting. It has two lakes of about 13 ha, which receive thousands of waterfowls every year in winter.

The total number of vertebrate fauna in the zoo was about 2,150 in 191 species. Included in these animals were about 551 mammals under 64 species, 1,543 birds under 90 species, 73 reptiles under 15 species, and about 104 aquarium fishes under 23 species. To attract visitors, besides many fascinating animals, there are tigers, lions, hippos, monkeys, and pythons. Moreover, some rare and interesting animals such as the rhea, peacock, zebra, elephant, African grey parrot, water buck, impala, emu, baboon, chimpanzee, gayal, black bear, tapir, mandrill, and estuarine crocodile provide additional entertainment to the visitors.

It is estimated about 3 million visitors visit the Dhaka Zoo every year. Except Sundays the zoo remains open on other weekdays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (Oct-Mar) and from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm (Apr-Sep) (ref: banglapedia). Entry free to zoo is BDT 10.00 per person.

One may be impressed with the size and the terrain of the zoo but saddened by the state of affairs inside and the health of the animals. The open grounds look untidy with bushes and shrubs, littered with refuse. Cages look as if they aren't cleaned and washed regularly. The pathways are not well defined, full of pot holes, and pavement in many areas are missing. There is no carriage/ carway inside zoo for the elderly, handicapped and/or small children to move around such a large area. It doesn't have good snack-bar/coffee house and toilet facilities. The places are also frequented by stalkers and ruffians.

It's sad, such a zoo site, with beautiful surroundings and topography are not attracting people from middle or upper class community or foreign tourists due to lack of management. The animals and birds look ill and many dying due to lack of health care and food, their numbers are dwindling. In this way the zoo is destined to fade away.


Anonymous said...

amazing pictures!

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you still review this page, but I liked your photos. I am an American, and have married into a Bangladeshi family. I am a natural history enthusiast, and was looking for information about the Zoo in Dhaka. Sadly, there was very little to find, but I did enjoy both your pictures and commentary. From what I can see, it looks like a decent zoo. I am sure it has its share of problems, but one can only hope that progress in in the works. Thanks for posting this page!