Situated on the Deccan plateau along the Sahyadri Hills, Pune has a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna and Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park & Wildlife Research Centre works towards its conservation. Formed in the year 1953 the zoo is situated at the foot of the Parvati Hills and subsequently shifted to its present location at Katraj in the year 1997. The Zoo has been responsible for conserving and rehabilitating endangered species through co-ordinated breeding.
We have also undertaken the education of visitors to the zoo about showing empathy to the animals and creating more awareness about them. The government of India has accredited the zoo under the large zoo category and houses about 362 animals, 147 of which fall under endangered species. All the animals are housed in natural and spacious enclosures with moats.
Being located along the western Ghats one of our primary goals is to create and promote awareness of our rich and precious bio-diversity to the zoo visitors and inculcate a sense of responsibility to conserve them. It is our objective to achieve this through proper interpretation, awareness programmes and informative signage. The wildlife research centre has been established to promote and carry out research in wild animals as even today, there is not a lot of data available on wild animal physiology, behaviour, diseases and subsequent treatment.
The PMC also manages an aquarium located at the Chatrapathi Sambhajiraje Park.
In the recent years, we have succeeded in the captive breeding of endangered animals like the Bengal tiger, sloth bear, four horned antelope, blackbuck, monitor lizard, jackal, peacock, Russell’s viper,
Indian cobra, etc. We intend to continue educating visitors on the role modern zoos play in the conservation of our biodiversity which is an integral part of our heritage and history through continued research about the behavioural, biological and veterinary aspects of wildlife and their significance to the ecology.
In addition to the above the Garden department is also responsible for the Garden & trees up keep, public parks for recreation and aesthetic purposes and development of theme parks. The horticulture section of the garden department is responsible for the maintenance of public parks in addition to the development & management of new gardens. The department also maintains all the civil and electrical structures within the garden premises.
Presently the PMC has 168 developed gardens under its management and based on various themes like Rose garden, Lake garden, Ayurvedic garden, Nala garden, Energy park, Adventure park, Mughal garden, Japanese garden, Village park, Butterfly garden, Nana-Nani park etc. We are also in the process of planning and developing palm park, Nakshatra garden & Amrut van in the near future.
Mr. Ashok Digambar Ghorpade
Chief Garden Superintendent
Pune Municipal Corporation