Today I want to share with you my experience of visiting the Himalayan Zoological Park in Gangtok, Sikkim. This is one of the most amazing zoos I have ever been to, and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves animals and nature.
After visiting Hanuman Tok, we went to Ganesh Tok. The Himalayan Zoo is just nearby. So, we went for the zoo. It is located on a hill near Ganesh Tok. It is at an altitude of 5,840 ft. The car took us up to the entrance. We paid the entry fees of Rs. 100 and entered the zoo. The car took us a bit more inside and up the hill.
The Himalayan Zoological Park is not your typical zoo. It is spread over a huge area of 67.56 acres, and it is designed to mimic the natural habitats of the animals that live there. The zoo is home to some rare and endangered species of wildlife, such as the red panda, the snow leopard, the Himalayan black bear, and the Tibetan wolf. The zoo also has a variety of birds, reptiles, and amphibians.
On its way, we stopped at a place and went to see Himalayan black bear. They were at the farthest corner and we could only figure them there.
We walked back to the car. Then we stopped at a place, with a picturesque cafeteria. On our return, we had our lunch and afternoon coffee before leaving this wonderful park.
The car stopped there as it could not go up. It is a large zoo and visitors need to walk a considerable distance to see all that the zoo has to offer. Some of the Himalayan fauna in the zoo are Himalayan Black Bear, snow leopard, the leopard cat, Tibetan wolf, and Red Pandas besides some beautiful birds.
Red Pandas are much smaller than the giant panda. The state animal of Sikkim, the Red Pandas are found in six protected areas of the State. But they are facing extinction due to habitat loss caused by construction activity and over grazing. The zoological park has already been identified as the most promising zoo for the red panda conservation programme, as it is located next to a panda habitat containing the animal’s staple diet, bamboo.
The Himalayan goral (Naemorhedus goral) is a bovid species found across the Himalayas. They are found in the forests of the Himalayas including Bhutan, northern India including Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, Nepal, and southern Tibet. The Himalayan goral is very agile and can run quickly. Due to its coloration it is very well camouflaged, so that it is extremely difficult to sight it, especially since it spends much of the day lying still. However, it is hunted by various predators. When threatened, the Himalayan goral will vocalize with hissing or sneezing sounds. It has been classified as “Near Threatened” by IUCN because it is believed to be in significant decline due to hunting for food and habitat loss.
I love nature and always love to visit forests, zoological parks and botanical gardens for seeing and enjoying various types of flora and fauna.
We spent about three hours at the zoo, and we enjoyed every minute of it. It was a wonderful way to learn more about the wildlife of the Himalayas and appreciate their beauty and diversity. If you are ever in Gangtok, do not miss this amazing attraction. It is worth every penny and every minute.