Nainital Zoo, also is known as Pt. G.B. Pant High Altitude Zoo, is one of the underdogs among the places to visit in Nainital. There are only two high altitude zoos in India, the other one being at Darjeeling. This high altitude zoo is situated at an elevation of 2100 m above sea level.
Nainital Zoo was opened to visitors on 1st June 1995 and is managed by “The Bharat Ratna Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant High Altitude Zoo Management Society Nainital” from 1st March 2002. It is well connected by a motorable road. It is the same location where the Mountain quail was last seen in 1876. The Zoo spreads over an area of 4.693. Nainital zoo houses total 217 animals of 33 different species.
ZOO (as in the logo) can be seen if you are standing anywhere in the central town. Much is being done by the forest department to promote this place. It is a unique place which facilitates research and coordinates breeding of endemic and endangered Himalayan fauna.
Some of the species like Snow Leopard which are almost impossible to capture in their Natural Habitat can be seen here. Nainital Zoo also hosts many events on Environment Day( 5 June), Ozone Layer Conservation Day (16th September), Wild Life Week (1st to 7th October).
Thus spreading awareness, among children, for the need for conservation and preservation of Environment. These events include various activities like Zoo Visit, Quizzing, Painting, and Debate Competition, etc. are organized for the students.
Markhors( National Animal of Pakistan) and a pair of Himalayan Tahrs are the newest addition to the Zoo. The list includes barking deer, Serow, Sambar, Himalayan Palm Civet, Himalayas Yellow Throated Martin, Goral, Himalayan Black Bear, Japanese Macaque, Tibetan Wolf, Leopard and many others. I totally forgot there is also a pair of red pandas.
The compound of the campus is spotless; there are grasslands where one can sit in peace and admire the beauty of Nature, the view it presents of Lake, all in the background of Royal Bengal Tiger. The compound is filled with evergreen oak, cypress forest cover.There are as many as three species of oak trees. It is an extraordinary experience to witness such diverse flora and fauna in one compound.
It must be kept in mind of the visitors mind that the trip to the Zoo must be educational, i.e., to stir curiosity about Nature and Wildlife. These animals might not be in their natural habitat, but a sense of respect should always be there.
The Royal Bengal Tiger is the Royal Bengal Tiger whether outside or inside the cage; it should be treated royally in both the cases. The morality of keeping animals in cages for amusement which is a tricky topic and should be discussed while taking the walk through the zoo. We are a part of an ecosystem, not the owner of a pale blue dot in the canvas of infinite Universe.
There are plenty of small shops just outside the zoo that provide refreshments to the travelers. No Eatables are allowed inside the zoo.
Nainital Zoo, Entry Timings and Entry Fee
A ticket cost for is 25 for children and Rs 50 for adults. Free entry is provided for senior citizens and disabled people.
How to reach Nainital Zoo?
Shuttle service is also provided to visitors to ferry them up a steep hill almost a kilometer from Mall Road up to the gate of the zoo on sharing @ Rs. 30/- per person to & fro from Mall Road. You can always hike to the zoo, taking photos along the way. its a steep hike but it will be worth it.
Nainital Zoo remains closed on Mondays, Holi, and Diwali.