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

G.B. Pant, High Altitude Zoo, Nainital

The Nainital Zoo, officially known as “G. B. Pant High Altitude Zoo, Nainital”. It covers an area of 04.592 hectares on the top of SherKaDandahill at an elevation of about 2100 mtr. in Nainital City, Uttarakhand.

Initially, the permission for establishment of zoo was granted in 1980 by then, Government of Uttar Pradesh. Construction work was completed in the year 1984. The zoo was opened to public on 01 June 1995 and since 1March 2002 the “Bharat Ratna G.B. Pant High Altitude Zoo Management Society, Nainital”, is managing the zoo. This zoo housesan array of beautiful animals, 36 species of which some 45 percent are considered to be threatened/endangered. The Nainital zoo attracts lakhs of visitors each year.This Zoo has established according to the guidelines of Central Zoo Authority (CZA), India and it is a signatory member of the CZA, New Delhi.

From the inception Nainital Zoo follows the modern trend of displaying animals in naturalistic habitat, covered and open exhibits with barriers, moats and net wires between the animals and visitors. Nainital Zoo is one of the first recognized and upgraded zoos in Uttarakhand state. This site is one of the most visited destinations in Nainital city.

Director of Nainital Zoo, Forest Department, Government of Uttarakhand, heads Nainital zoo administration.

Nainital Zoo History

The concept of establishing a zoo in Nainital city first came into mind in the year 1972 and in 1974 a suitable place was selected, keeping in view the following aspects:-

  • Land should be near to city.
  • Necessary amount of water and Sunrays for wild animals.
  • Land for the future development prospects.

On 13 September 1975, a conference meeting of Secretary Hill Development was held in which President, Nagar Palika, Nainital, Managing Director Hill Development Corporation, Chief Conservator of Forest (Kumaun), M.L.A., Nainital and other officials participated. The decision for constructing the zoo was taken in the same meeting and President of Nagar Palika gave a donation of Rs. 35,000/- towards the management. After the meeting on October 1975, ‘A preliminary report on the establishment of A Zoological Park at Nainital’ was proposed which is the base of Zoo construction work till date. The permission for starting the zoo was processed in the year 1980.

A committee was also formed in April 1986 for the establishment of zoo. The committee in-charge of the developing zoo initiated the process to design and structure of the zoo with the help of U.P. Government. The committee headed by Mr. N.D. Bachkheti, he has a vast experience of wild management. Mr. Bachkheti took minute initiatives towards designing and construction of cages or living areas. He invested a lot of time and efforts towards the zoo development. Nainital zoo is an example that how late Mr. N.D. Bachkheti has served his efforts in establishing it and had done amarvelous job, which had made Nainital zoo a masterpiece.

In order to commemorate the work of Late Mr. N.D. Bachkheti, the zoo authorities have named the zoo auditorium as N.D. Bachkheti auditorium.

On 1 June 1995, the zoo was inaugurated and open to public. In the year 2001, the “Central Zoo Authority” officially certified Nainital zoo. G. B. Pant, High Altitude Zoo Management Society was created for the management of Zoo and was registered in 2001-2002 under Societies Registration Act-1860. In order to honor the Bharat Ratna G.B. Pant’s work place, the forest department named the zoo as “G. B. Pant, High Altitude Zoo".

Later, in 2015 Management of “Himalayan Botanical Garden”, Nainital has also been brought under the Nainital Zoo Management Committee.

Since, the national titles cannot be used before any person’s name, hence, in 2017 the name of Bharat Ratna Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant, High Altitude Zoo has been changed to “G. B. Pant, High Altitude Zoo, Nainital in 2017.

Zoo management has to be dynamic. Several positive changes and improvements have been brought in the shape of Nainital zoo time to time. In 2016-17 a waterfall, new ticket house, new nature shop and a new nature café have developed.

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

Date opened 1st June 1995
Location Nainital, Uttarakhand, India
Coordinates 29º22’49.77”N, 79º28’03.81”E
Area. 4.592 ha
No. of Animals 206
No. of Species 32
Annual visitors 1,36,038 (2021-22)
Awards Small Zoo
Membership Central Zoo Authority, India
Major exhibits Bengal Tiger, Himalayan Black Bear, Markhor, Leopard, Blue Sheep, Red Panda, Tibetan Wolf
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