This day in Chennai was going to be special. I was headed to the suburban portions of the southwestern part of Chennai where in about 31 kilometers, I would be in complete lap of nature. This was the Arignar Anna Zoological Park Chennai, the Vandalur Zoo to many, which opened its gates for tourists in the year 1855. Then it was called the Madras Zoo. Sprawling over an impressive area of 1,490 acres, the park also has a Rehabilitation Centre for the specific care of the animals in its wing. The park has the distinction of being the largest zoological gardens of India and the last statistics had it that it comprised of some 1,500 species of wild animals of which 46 of them were endangered in the 160 enclosures where they were kept and looked after.
I was in awe of the surroundings that I had the fortune to be in. The ecosystem sustaining the animals, plants and other live creatures here is one of deciduous trees. In all of 81 enclosures that I was going through, I came across barking deer, the black buck, panther, hog deer, jackal, hyenas and other known and lesser known animals. Among the endangered species, the Nilgiri Macaques, monitor lizards, the chimpanzees Muscovy duck and the Bengal Tiger were the ones that caught my attention. Interestingly, the home is also the abode of Australian exotic species like the cassowary and emu. Some of the areas within the park where there are dense forests there could be seen large varieties of butterflies. I took the elephant ride, something that I quite fancied as a child. It brought me to an elevation from where I could see the vast expanse of the flora and fauna of the park.
The most alluring section of the Arignar Anna Zoological Park Chennai is the walk through aviary where some of the remarkable and unique species of birds could be seen in their habitat. The Korean grass that lined the pathway is very essential for maintaining the humidity of the place. It was impossible to get enough of the park in one visit but I had plans to move on to the Marina Beach Chennai next so I had to move on.