About Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park
Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park is also commonly know as the Rajiv Gandhi Zoo or even Katraj Zoo. It is located in Katraj, Pune. The Zoo is maintained by Pune Municipal Corporation. The localiets commonly call this place as “Snake park” because of it snake keeping and preservation. Set up on the 130 acres of Land, the zoo is divided into three parts. They are an animal orphanage, a Snake park, and a Zoo. There are approximately 362 animals in the Zoo.
The Zoo has reptiles, mammals, and various species of birds. The Zoo is mostly famous for its Snake Park. There are various types of Snakes kept here that include over 22 species of snakes with 10 species of reptiles comprising more than 150 individuals. The zoo also has a 13 ft long King Cobra. The information about the same is also available in Braille. The snake park organises various festivals and awareness programs regarding the myths about Snakes and also how they are ill-treated and how to preserve them. During Nag-Panchmi, the Zoo arranges a program where they discourage the bad treatments done to the snakes.
The Park also has a rescue centre for injured birds and orphaned animals too. Animals that are injured are treated here and taken care of.
History of Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park
The Pune Municipal Corporation created a Peshwe Park on about 7 acres of land where there was a private menagerie in 1770 established by Madhavrao Peshwe.
In the year 1986, Mr. Neelam Kumar Khaire (the first director of the park), created the Katraj Snake Park on land that was to become the Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park with the help of Pune Municipal Corporation.
To have a more developed and modern Zoo, the Municipality selected a site in Katraj and started developing a new zoo in accordance with the guidelines of the Central Zoo Authority of India.
The Zoo opened in the year 1999 and was named as the ‘Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park & Wildlife Research Centre’. Later in 2005, all of the animals from Peshwe Park were shifted to the new one and the Peshwe Park was closed.