Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Vandalur Zoo

Chennai's zoo is located about an hour outside the city (past the airport and Tambaram). I've been wanting to go see it for many years, but hadn't heard very good things, so kept finding an excuse not to go.

Well, this past week I decided to go and take a whole lot of kids too. I was very pleasantly surprised. They've done a tremendous job. You can either hire a tram to drive around, or you could walk. They have lots and lots to see. And its very green. They also have little shaded areas where people can rest and re-energize.

Apart from the usual tigers, lions, hippos, monkeys, deer, giraffes, we saw some really unusual animals too:

The Cassowary Bird (native to Australia)

The White Siberian Tiger (I later learnt that its an albino form of a regular tiger, not a different species of tiger)


They even have a kangaroo! But he wouldn't come out from his little hideout, so we couldn't see him.

I heard the sad tale of the rhino that had just died a month earlier. When they did a post-mortem, they found soda cans, plastic bottles and packets of chips inside his stomach from all the food that was being fed to him by visitors. Although there are signs everywhere telling you not to feed the animals, the officials claim that no one listens.

They also organize a lion "safari" where you go in jeeps inside an almost-Jurassic Park-looking enclosure and see lions up close. Quite cool!

I recommend a visit to the zoo - its a really nice way to spend a 1/2 day.


Raaga said...

I have never gone there... have wanted to for many years!!

I did take a couple of kids to the Delhi Zoo last November... and I quite enjoyed the experience.

Arundathi said...

See - I think there are lots like you and me who keep meaning to go, but don't make it! Do try and visit next time you're in Chennai.

Cilantro said...

I have been to the Zoo long time was`nt that great. I think I have to rediscover Vandalur Zoo on my next visit.

Arundathi said...

it probably doesnt compare to most other zoos, but i was pleasantly surprised. was expecting bad conditions and tired looking animals.

Anonymous said...

I've been there for many times since my childhood. Its a very nice place to spend a whole day and also very informative about the animal kingdom. Unfortunately, i've never been for Lion safari. But we guys are planning to go for it very soon.

Arundathi said...

Anonymous - I hope you enjoy the lion safari.

Anonymous said...

I have been there many times and and also had chance to visit the lion safari.It was quite good.The last time visted was in in 1996 as i was studing in the school just next to the zoo.The zoo was not at it standard at that time but wise there have been devlopment as i am planning to visit chennai and would surely visit zoo an dlion safari.

mohammed said...


Ashwin said...

Very nice post about your trip to this place. I too planning to visit this place for long time, finally i will be visiting this place by this weekend. Thanks for sharing about this post. Really enjoy reading this blog. Want to visit Chennai then book bus tickets in Madurai Radha Travels to comfort the trip.