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G. B. Pant High Altitude Zoo, Nainital, Uttarakhand.

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Special Attractions

Tigers are the largest member and renowned for their power and strength in the cat family. Just like human fingerprints, the stripes on each tiger are unique. Bengal tiger is the National animal of Indian subcontinent as well as Bangladesh. At once, there were eight subspecies of tiger but now they are only five, because three became extinct during 20th century. Hunting and deforestation have reduced tiger population. They are hunted for trophies and various body parts that are used for the traditional medicine. Remaining all five tiger subspecies are at risk and for their conservation, various protection programmes are going on.

The Red Pandas (Ailurus fulgens), are very skillful and acrobatic animals that predominantly stay in trees. Almost 50 percent of the red panda’s habitat is in the Eastern Himalayas. They use their long, bushy tails for balance and to cover themselves in winter, presumably for warmth. Primarily an herbivore, the name panda is said to come from the Nepali word ‘ponya,’ which means bamboo or plant eating animal. The species has been classified as endangered in the IUCN Red List. Presently Nainital Zoo has got six individuals.

This is the large forest dwelling bear of the Himalaya and also called the Moon Bear due to the crescent-shaped white mark on its glossy black chest. Its fur is much shorter than that of the other black bear of India. Longer hairs are present in the neck region, which are associated with the protection from the bites of predators like tigers. This bear hibernates in the upper Himalaya. It is fairly arboreal though it does not sleep on trees like the Sun Bear.