Arignar Anna Zoological Park Vandalur Zoo


Arignar Anna Zoological Park (abbreviated AAZP), also known as the Vandalur Zoo, is a zoological garden located in Vandalur, is in the southwestern part of Chennai, Tamil Nadu, about 31 kilometres (19 mi) from the Chennai Central and 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from Chennai Airport. Established in 1855, it is the first public zoo in India. It is affiliated with the Central Zoo Authority of India. Spread over an area of 602 hectares (1,490 acres), including a 92.45-hectare (228.4-acre) rescue and rehabilitation centre, the park is the largest zoological park in India. The zoo houses 2,553 species of flora and fauna across 1,265 acres (512 ha). As of 2012 the park houses around 1,500 wild species, including 46 endangered species, in its 160 enclosures. As of 2010, there were about 47 species of mammals, 63 species of birds, 31 species of reptiles, 5 species of amphibians, 28 species of fishes, and 10 species of insects in the park. The park, with an objective to be a repository of the state's fauna, is credited with being the second wildlife sanctuary in Tamil Nadu after Mudumalai National Park. Contents History Portrait of Edward Balfour at the Madras Museum In 1854, Edward Green Balfour, the then director of the Government Central Museum at Madras, persuaded the Nawab of the Carnatic to donate his entire animal collection to the museum. This attracted large crowds and became the nucleus of the Madras Zoo, which was founded in 1855. Balfour started the zoo on the museum premises, and a year later it had over 300 animals, including mammals, birds and reptiles. It was later transferred to the Madras Corporation and shifted to People's Park near Chennai Central railway station at Park Town in 1861, as it was growing. The municipal zoological garden occupied one end of the 116-acre (47 ha) park and was open free to the public. By 1975, the zoo could no longer expand, and it had to be moved out of the city because of space constraints and increased noise pollution due to the city's high-density traffic. Hence it was planned in 1976 to maintain the animals in the zoo in good simulated conditions. In 1976, the Tamil Nadu Forest Department set aside 1,265 acres (512 ha) in the Vandalur Reserve Forest on the outskirts of the city to build the current zoo, which is the largest zoological garden in India and the Indian Subcontinent and one of the largest in the world. Work started in 1979 at an initial cost of ? 75 million, and the zoo in its new premises was officially opened to public on 24 July 1985 by the then chief minister of Tamil Nadu M. G. Ramachandran, when most of the works were completed. In the beginning, the area was nothing more than a scrub jungle, with practically no tree cover. The zoo authorities and people from surrounding villages collected seeds of different trees from neighbouring areas and afforested the zoo area. In 2001, 92.45 hectares (228.4 acres) of land next to the park was acquired to build a rescue and rehabilitation centre for confiscated and abandoned wild animals, increasing the park's size to 602 hectares (1,490 acres). In 1955, the zoo held the first All-India Zoo Superintendents Conference, as part of the centenary celebrations. The zoo is named after Tamil politician Annadurai commonly called as Aringar Annadurai. Objectives, organisational structure, and revenue generation Chimpanzee in zoo Sloth bears in their near-natural habitat in the zoo An elephant in its natural environment The main objectives of the park are ex-situ propagation of critically endangered species to prevent their extinction, wildlife education and interpretation aimed at a wider public appreciation of wildlife, and wildlife research to promote wildlife conservation and management. The overall management of the zoo is vested in the director of the park. The director is also the member secretary of the Zoo Authority of Tamil Nadu (formed under Tamil Nadu Society Act), which started functioning from 1 April 2005, and comprises the following members: The Secretary to Government, Environment and Forest Department (Chairman) The Secretary to Government, Finance Department (Member) The Secretary to Government, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Department (Member) The Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Tamil Nadu (Member) Vice-Chancellor, Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (Member) Director, Department of Environment (Member) Commissioner, Tourism Department (Member) Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden, Tamil Nadu (Member) Chief Conservator of Forests and Director, AAZP (Member Secretary) The Government of Tamil Nadu provides funds for paying the zoo staff and maintenance of zoo vehicles. Other expenditures, such as maintenance of animal enclosures, feed for animals, animal health care, maintenance of zoo, drainage, water, electricity and maintenance of battery-operated vehicles, are met from the income generated by the zoo, chiefly by means of the entry fee. Income is also generated from battery-operated vehicle (BOV) charges, elephant rides, toilets lease, bicycle charges from TI cycles, the leased parking area and food and beverages outlets such as Hotel Tamil Nadu, Aavin, and TANTEA. The yearly budget of the park for its developmental and maintenance work is approved by the governing board. The functions of the zoo are carried out by several departments, namely, administration, animal welfare, commissary (store), transport, research, education and awareness, veterinary, horticulture, security and sanitation. There are currently about 262 full-time staff against a sanctioned strength of 300, including forest rangers, wildlife keepers, biologists and veterinary doctors. The director in the rank of chief conservator of forests, supported by one additional director, one deputy director, and two assistant directors, heads the park. Other staff include 27 ministerial staff, 39 field staff (including drivers) and 172 permanent workers under various categories. In addition to the regular staff, the park has also employed contract labourers. The veterinary department is headed by one veterinary officer and two veterinary assistant surgeons with two veterinary attendants. The task of education, interpretation, and research is executed by three biologists of the park. Location and boundaries The entrance to the zoological park The park is located at Vandalur in the south-western part of the Chennai Metropolitan Area, about 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) from Tambaram, 4 km from Mudichur 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) and about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from Chennai Airport. The whole of the park and the proposed night safari zone lie within the Vandalur Reserve Forest area located immediately to the southwest of Tambaram Air Force Station. The eastern and western sides of the park are bordered by Hassan and Otteri lakes, respectively. The main entrance of the zoo lies on the eastern side of the Chennai-Trichy Highway (National Highway 45), also known as the Grand Southern Trunk (GST) Road, near its intersection with the Vandalur-Kelambakkam Road. The lion safari range lies in the north-eastern side of the park, pervading into the reserve forest area, and the rescue and rehabilitation centre and the proposed night safari zone are located at the southern side across the Vandalur-Kelambakkam Road. The Vandalur railway station of the Chennai suburban railway network is located at the north-western side, about 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) from the main entrance of the park. Areas around the zoo Environment A walkway at the zoological gardens Chitals in the free-range zone The slope at the walkthrough aviary The zoo is located within the Vandalur Reserve Forest area. The zoo's ecosystem consists of dry deciduous and dry evergreen scrub forest vegetation of the Eastern Ghats, a degraded forest consisting of mostly thorny bushes, receiving an average annual rainfall of 1,400 millimetres (55 in) and an average annual temperature of 26 C (79 F). The terrain is a gentle undulating one ranging in altitude from 10 to 100 metres (33 to 328 ft) with an average elevation of 50 metres (160 ft) above sea level. The park was designed to keep the natural vegetation of the area intact except where enclosures, roads, and structures had to be constructed. Originally a sparse scrub forest invaded by weeds, consisting of species such as Carissa sp., Gmelina sp., Eugenia sp., Acacia sp., Instia sp. and a few other dry evergreen forest species, the park's vegetation was gradually enriched by planting dry evergreen species. The entire campus has been fortified by means of a compound wall, preventing any biotic interference in the park and allowing the natural growth of vegetation, which give the park the look of a natural forest. The park is built based on the 'open zoo' concept. The exhibits were originally based on taxonomic and geographical distribution of the species, but have now been replaced by ecological niches and habitats. The order of priority is local species, followed by regional, national, and international species. The use of moats has made it possible to house predator and prey in extended enclosures that provide a panorama of wildlife. There are over 75 moated enclosures in the park. Enrichments in the form of ladders, climbing materials, etc. are provided for the animals to move around the enclosure freely. A typical moated enclosure in the zoo Most of the exhibits in the zoo lie along a circular road covering about 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi). Smaller mammals and other exhibits are located along three inner roads. The park area is dotted with large open island-type enclosures and chain-link fence, with camouflaged wet and dry moats, hidden walls, and simulated natural environment for the residents of the park. The remaining area makes up the free-range zone-an open area which makes up the bulk of the park and where animals such as deer and jackals are left to roam free. There are more than 500 deer of different varieties and an equal number of jackals in the free-range zone. In addition, there are four enclosures for deer-each housing about 30 animals. Deer and jackals are found in equal numbers and are known for their fast-breeding ability, especially in their natural environment. The deer-jackal ratio is maintained by the 'natural method of selection'-allowing the stronger ones to prey on the weaker ones-a natural way of balancing the ecological system. Otteri lake situated on the north-western side within the park premises acts as a roosting ground for a wide array of aquatic migratory birds such as the open-bill stork, painted stork, white ibis, grey heron, night heron, cormorants, darters, egrets, dabchicks, pelicans, great pelicans, glossy ibis and moorhen, making it a bird watchers' paradise. The 7-hectare (17-acre) lake, surrounded by a variety of trees, receives the run-off water from nearly half the area of the park and attracts a large number of migratory birds in October, November, and December. Both terrestrial and aquatic birds of about 70 species congregate here during the season. On average, around 10,000 migratory birds visit the lake each year. About 230 saplings of Barringtonia, a species native to mangrove habitats, have been planted inside the lake to attract more birds. Exhibits Emu in the birds' section A pair of Bird in Vandalur Zoo Captive hippopotamus The park has 81 enclosures and more than 170 species of mammals, birds and reptiles, such as the barking deer, blackbuck, sambar, sangai, nilgai, wolf, tiger, jaguar, hog deer, jackal, hyena, lion, giraffe, camel, otter, llama, elephant, and a number of monkey species such as Nilgiri langur, lion-tailed macaque, baboon, Hanuman langur and leaf-capped langur. There are about 46 endangered animals of the Western Ghats, the Eastern Ghats and the Indian subcontinent such as the Nilgiri macaques, as well as other rare species including monitor lizard, chimpanzees, European brown bear, Muscovy duck, giraffe, Bengal tiger, white tiger, lemur, macaque, vulture, and star tortoises. The park is also home to exotic species such as the Australian flightless bird species of emu and cassowary. The park contains about 138 plant species, including cashew and eucalyptus. The dense vegetation of the park supports about 56 species of butterfly. Animals at the park includes: Financial YearNumbersMammalsBirdsReptilesAmphibiansFishTotal 2005 - 06 Species466229521163 Animals430534351722651657 2011 - 12 Species447029NANA143 Animals394216280NANA1390 2012 - 13 Species456729NANA141 Animals391764279NANA1434 2013 - 14Species467933NANA158 Animals407773318NANA1498 2014 - 15Species468133NANA160 Animals4451035351NANA1841 2015 - 16Species439235NANA170 Animals4511312379NANA2142 2016 - 17Species469433NANA173 Animals4501511417NANA2378 2017 - 18Species479434NANA175 Animals4611507411NANA2379 2018 - 19Species469035NANA171 Animals475175441NANA2644 List of animals Safaris Elephants being fed One of the yards within the lion safari area As part of the park's development plan, safari parks for lion, gaur and deer have been created on a hilly terrain covering an area of 70 hectares (170 acres), enabling the visitors to see the animals in their natural habitats. The lion park has been developed in an area of 30 hectares (74 acres) at a cost of about ? 2.358 million and is operational since October 1990 providing the visitors a 15-min drive into the safari. The safari contains 15 animals and these are involved in captive breeding. As the lions started forming groups according to their instincts and compatibility, the zoo authorities apportioned two small areas within the existing safari area in 2012, work on which started in January 2012 at a cost of ? 600,000, enabling the visitors to see one pride in the open forest area and the other two in the newly created fenced yards. These enclosures had been created on a 160-sq m area, with facilities such as rest shed and water trough. Each pride consists of three to four animals. The deer park was opened in 2008. It covers 35 hectares (86 acres) and is home to more than 100 animals including sambar and spotted deer. Elephant safari was introduced in the zoo in the summer of 2008, providing a ride on elephants for a tour around the zoo. The park is the only place after Mudumalai in the Nilgiris that organises elephant safari rides in the state. There are 3 elephants in the park and 2 more have been brought from Mudumalai to start the safari. The park authorities plan to create a new Indian Gaur safari in 2011 in part of the current lion safari area. The lion safari has two geographical regions-hilly and plains. At present, the lions move around in the plains region (about 12 hectares (30 acres) of the 30-hectare (74-acre) total area) and are not allowed into the hilly region. The proposed gaur safari would be created on the 18 hectares (44 acres) of the hilly terrain. In 2007, a night safari project in the park was promoted with two components, namely, an animal exhibit area and an entertainment area. The night safari was being established for providing opportunity to observe the natural wildlife behaviour and activities in the night hours. Initially, it was expected to be implemented during 2010-11 at a cost of ? 40.2 million. With the initially allocated sum, the zoo authorities completed construction of enclosures for tiger, elephant, Indian bison, sloth bear, spotted deer and sambar and a large number of saplings was raised to be planted around the night safari area. Nearly ? 78.7 million was spent on construction of the enclosures, surveying the lands, perimeter wall and laying circular roads for the night safari. With delay in getting funds from the Union Ministry, the project was put on hold and the zoo prepared another proposal for ? 820 million for night safari in July 2011. However, this too was deferred by the state government. Sanctuary aviaries The entrance of the walkthrough aviary Two aviaries at the zoo were designed to imitate specific bird sanctuaries in Tamil Nadu. The Point Calimere Aviary represents a sanctuary on a bay on the Coromandel Coast of the District of Nagapattinam, where migratory birds including flamingos, seagulls, teals, storks and herons can be seen between October and February every year. These species can be seen year-round in this aviary, where flamingos can feed in the shallows while seagulls swim in deeper water. The aviary has a small island (about 30 square metres (320 sq ft)) with bushy vegetation, and water covering about 110 square metres (1,200 sq ft). The Vedanthangal Sanctuary Aviary represents a sanctuary located in the district of Kanchipuram. It is planted with gum arabic tree, bamboo and other tree species which offer convenient places for birds to rest. Birds such as white ibis, painted stork, night heron and grey heron are found here, and baskets have been provided to facilitate breeding. Walk-through aviary The terrestrial aviary was opened in 1992, but was closed within a few years due to maintenance issues. It was renovated and reopened in 2010 as the Bio Centre. This 1.5-acre (0.61 ha) walk-through aviary cost about ? 2 million and is located on a slope behind the tiger house (12.8823035N 80.0913191E). The aviary is the biggest such facility in a zoo in the country. The facility features fifteen-metre-tall fences to facilitate free flight of birds within the area. The aviary is home to about 245 birds of different species including Alexandrine parakeet, rose-ringed parakeet, blue rock pigeon, common myna, Indian koel, common babbler, white-browed bulbul, francolin, red-vented bulbul, red-whiskered bulbul, wagtail, pipit, orange-headed thrush, red-wattled lapwing, little brown dove and spotted dove. Walkthrough aviary at the zoo, located on a slope behind the tiger enclosure The height of the aviary ranges from 5 metres (16 ft) at the top of the slope to 12 metres (39 ft) at the bottom, with the chain link 'roof' sloping downward from west to east. The aviary is surrounded by a 1-metre (3 ft 3 in) wall, and the four sides above this are covered with steel and blue-coloured nylon net in order to provide an open-sky effect. The ground is floored by tiled footpath lawned with Korean grass to maintain the humidity level. The moist deciduous habitat supports 22 tree and shrub species. Fruit-bearing trees such as mango, pomegranate, guava, sapota (Sapodilla), jamoon, Singapore cherry and chillies have been planted for the benefit of fruit-eating birds. Heaps of dry leaves, dung, dry wood waste and rotten fruits have been provided for insect-eating birds. The zoo has also set up a mud bath facility for the birds. Palm trees with holes have been planted to facilitate natural breeding of parakeets, and heaps of stones have been provided for ground-nesting birds. The aviary also has fountains and water bodies for the birds. As of 2018, the zoo had about 89 species of birds, amounting to 1,604 individuals, of which 61 were native varieties and 28 were exotic breeds. Butterfly house The butterfly house, constructed at a cost of ? 6 million, has more than 25 host plants and landscaped habitats, such as bushes, lianas, streams, waterfall and rock-gardens, that attract many species of butterflies such as the common Mormon, crimson rose, mottled emigrant, blue tiger, evening brown and lime butterfly. A network of ponds interconnected by streams maintains humidity in the area. The park covers an area of 5 acres. The butterfly garden with an insect museum at the entrance is set up by the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), Coimbatore. The insect museum has been planned with an exhibit area comprising insect exhibits representing the most common Indian species of all orders of insects both in the form of preserved specimens and in the form of photographs. Birds enclosure at the zoo White stork at the aviary Reptile house/serpentarium The reptile house or the serpentarium is built, at the cost of ? 0.4 million, in a twining snake-like model with entrance and exit points in the snake's mouth and tail, respectively. The house was opened to public in the year 1989 and has 24 enclosures exhibiting 4 species of poisonous and 10 species of non-poisonous snakes. It contains a total of 104 snakes, including 41 Indian pythons, 21 Burmese pythons and four cobras. The park has initiated controlled breeding programme for Indian rock python. Each vivarium has been renovated by changing substratum and providing perch and hide outs. The top of the opening in RCC roof is closed with transparent acrylic sheet to avoid rain and the walled enclosure enables the snake to exhibit all natural behaviours. The king cobra is scientifically kept and maintained in constant temperature by providing air conditioning and hot spot. Amphibian house The park stands first in the country for establishing an amphibian captive facility, and it is the only zoo in the country to have amphibians on display. Locally available species such as Indian tree frog (Polypedates maculatus), common Indian toad (Bufo melanasticus), Indian bull frog (Rana tigirina), Indian cricket frog (Limnonectus limnocharis) and Indian pond frog (Euphlyctis cyanophlyctis) are exhibited at the Amphibian Centre. A water-recycling system has been introduced to keep the house clean, and plants have been planted inside each tank to add lushness. Crocodile enclosure Tiger's enclosure The park houses many species of crocodiles such as the gharial, the marsh crocodile, the salt water crocodile and the American spectacled caiman. Except the Cuban crocodile, the park has all other six major varieties, namely, Indo-Pacific or the salt water crocodile, swamp crocodile, Nile crocodile of Africa, Orinoco crocodile, Morelet's crocodile and American crocodile. The eight enclaves for crocodiles comprise about 220 individuals, including 125 adult specimens belonging to the six varieties. This includes two pairs of adult fresh water crocodiles. Many of the species also breed here. Painted storks at the zoo Primate house The primate house includes some unique endangered primate species like the lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur, capped langur and chimpanzee. The park is also the National Studbook Keeper for the endangered lion-tailed macaque, nominated by the CZA. With the successful execution of the Co-ordinated Captive Breeding Programme (CCBP), the park accounts for around 36 percent of lion-tailed macaques in the country's zoos as of 2011. World of nocturnal animals The nocturnal animals section houses six species. The biological rhythm and cycle of the animals has been modified so that they are active during the daytime and sleep during the nighttime. Shark-shaped aquarium in the zoo Small mammals house The newly constructed Small Mammals House has animals such as the grizzled giant squirrel and the Malayan giant squirrel. The zoo also houses many small carnivores and animals of the Western Ghats. Aquarium The shark-modelled aquarium, with its entrance and exit points in the form of gills of the shark, is set amidst a pond and houses 31 species of fresh-water fishes. The pond surrounding the aquarium too has different varieties of fishes. Other sections Other sections in the zoo include the prey-predator concept enclosures (tiger-sambar), Prehistoric Animal Park with life-size models of prehistoric animals and insectarium complex, apart from an interpretation centre, zoo school and children's park. The zoo school, opened in 2000, has formulated conservation, education and awareness programmes for academics and general public that includes teacher training, zoo outreach and volunteers programmes, such as Zoo Club Volunteer Programme and Animal Keepers Training Programme. The zoo also has a library with a collection of wildlife-related books. The library functions twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays. A panoramic view of Bengal tigers Captive breeding The zoo is among four in the country to have ostriches Gaur or Indian bison bull The Central Zoo Authority of India (CZA) has identified the park as coordinating zoo for the breeding programmes for endangered species as per the National Zoo Policy adopted by the Government of India in 1988, which states that the main objective of zoos will be to complement and strengthen national efforts in the conservation of the country's rich biodiversity and that the species which have no chance of survival in the wild would be bred under ex-situ conditions. The park has a high rate of success in captive breeding of lion-tailed macaques. In 2010, the zoo had 22 lion-tailed macaques, from a breeding pair that were brought to the zoo in 1983. The park is also successful in breeding other rare species in captivity, including ostrich, Asian palm civet, Indian gaur, wild dog, Asiatic lion, Nilgiri langur, sangai, hippo,[76][77] Malabar giant squirrel, white tiger,[78][79] Asiatic wolf, panther[80] and bison.[81] The zoo is among four in the country to have an ostrich. The park also undertakes cross-breeding as part of its conservation efforts.[82] The park is also a participating zoo of the CZA for the captive breeding of rock python, Nilgiri langur, lion-tailed macaque, Asiatic lion, wild dog, Asiatic wolf, and gaur.[83] The zoo also promotes exterior conservation-conservation of rare species in their natural habitat-whereby individuals born in the zoo are released in the wild after adequate training, as per the guidelines of the CZA. Other facilities The park has tree-lined paved paths for long treks inside the campus, enabling the visitors to walk 15 to 20 kilometres (9.3 to 12.4 mi) during a visit. Battery-operated vehicles with a range of up to 80 kilometres (50 mi) are available for rent. There are about 9 such vehicles in addition to the 4 battery-operated vans used for the lion safari and 4 diesel-run road rails[84][85] used for going around the zoo, and the approval has been given in 2017 for two more vehicles.[86] Each vehicle can carry 15 to 20 people, and each trip takes about an hour. A trial program of 20 rental bicycles for visitors, including 5 for children, was launched in 2008 as an eco-friendly option intended to reduce demand for the battery-operated cars.[87] An e-bike facility was also inaugurated on 20 February 2010. By the beginning of 2018, plans were on to install 32 CCTV cameras in the zoo.[86] Refreshment outlets include a snack bar run by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC), an ice cream parlour and a soft drinks counter-all near the entrance. The park also maintains 16 toilets and nearly two dozen drinking fountains within the premises for the visitors. The zoo is open to public from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm except on Tuesdays, when the zoo carries out weekly maintenance works. All the animals, especially the big cats, are back in their cages after 5.00 pm and most tourists prefer to visit them before going on to the other exhibits.[88] The zoo has a guest house located on Kelambakkam Road.[89] Electric vehicle (left) and vehicle for lion safari (right) at the zoo. The zoo is fenced on all sides by means of the perimeter wall. The zoo security is mainly carried out by the forest subordinate staff of rangers, foresters and forest guards along with zoo security staff, who conduct regular patrolling of animal enclosures, stores and other buildings. Night security is carried out under the command of one range officer and other subordinates. The zoo has also employed private security personnel. From 1 December 2010, four persons from a private security service have been deployed along with forest rangers for night patrolling. In July 2013, ambulance facility, equipped with an oxygen cylinder, pulse monitor, critical care monitor, stretcher, surgical tools, small cages, tranquilizing darts and emergency medicines, for animals inside the premises was inaugurated.[90] A research and training facility was set up in 2017 at an estimated cost of ?71.3 million. It will conduct research on subjects such as endangered animals and their reproduction, besides suggesting ways and means to address man-animal conflicts.[91] Renovation One of nine white tigers at the zoo In February 2011, the zoo began construction of a large new tiger cage at a cost of about ? 200,000, and the new cage will be linked to the existing one. The existing enclosure measures 26.64 feet in height, length and width. The new cage will be 13 metres (43 ft) tall at its highest point and 11 metres (36 ft) wide, enough for four adult tigers at a time. It will have separate entries for the animal keeper and the animals. Illuminated by solar-powered lights, it will have a sloping roof and good ventilation.[92] There are 18 tigers in the zoo, 9 of which are white tigers.[93] For the first time since the shifting of the zoo from Park Town in 1979, the park underwent a major renovation in 2011, costing ? 32.5 million.[94] The renovated entrance was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, J. Jayalalithaa, on 19 June 2012. The new 6-m wide entrance features 250-m long, 2.7-m high brick-and-granite wall, with 43 mural relief sculptures representing different animals in the zoo and a 12-m fenced lawn. The main entrance tower is 10.5 m tall, with two adorning structures 8.5 m each on either side.[95] Other additions include huge lawns covering nearly 300 m on both sides of the entrance, tiled floors, an interpretation centre (similar to the one at the Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary) with LED displays at the entrance, additional ticket counters, and a souvenir shop selling memorabilia like T-shirts and artefacts showcasing the flora and fauna of the sub-continent. The new entrance also features 20 computerised ticket counters to handle huge crowds.[94] The zoo authorities are in the process of restoring and renovating the approach road to Otteri lake, located inside the zoo. Post-monsoon, the lake attracts many migratory birds, and the lake could act as an ideal spot to view birds at close quarters. Hence, a bird's viewpoint is being built to encourage bird watching.[96] Visitors During April 2010-March 2011, the zoo received nearly 1,810,846 visitors, as against 1,187,904 visitors in 2006-2007.[97] In November 2010, the total revenue was ? 46.9 million, against ? 40.2 million during October 2009.[98] There has been an increase of more than 200,000 visitors in 2010 compared to 2009, and the park had recorded a 21 percent increase in the number of visitors.[99][100][101] The number of visitors raises to the peak on the Kaanum Pongal day, a day in the festival season of mid-January, when the visitor count goes up to 63,000 on a single day. About 57,000 visitors arrived on the Kannum Pongal day of 2009, resulting in revenue of ? 1.015 million.[102] It was 56,555 in 2010 and 57,217 in 2011. The all-time record of 63,000 visitors a day was registered on the Kannum Pongal day of 2012, resulting in revenue of ? 1.1 million.[103] One of the two ticket counters at the entrance plaza The number of visitors to the zoo is steadily growing by an estimated 10 to 15 percent every year.[96] The visitor statistics and the revenue generated over the past years are listed below: YearTotal number of visitorsTotal revenue (in Indian rupees) 2002-2003711,5898,280,254.50 2003-2004700,96311,070,930.00 2004-2005668,02611,135,581.00 2005-2006848,82314,446,000.00 2006-20071,187,90420,251,945.00 2007-20081,447,99225,074,288.00 2008-20091,646,12930,387,902.00 2009-20101,604,21640,286,000.00 2010-20111,810,84646,997,710.00 2011-20122,002,54542,316,857.00 2012-20132,212,13167,395,062.00 2013-20142,375,05374,751,469.00 2014-20152,382,62579,213,099.00 2015-20162,198,79494,691,728.00 2016-20171,779,50184,982,456.00 2017-20181,824,624118,724,220.00 2018-20192,026,799126,416,725.00 Programmes and activities Wild migratory birds visit every season The park has a zoo club, comprising college students, which was formed in 1997. The club helps keep the premises clean, and the members also conduct educational programmes and carry out patrols.[104] Following the death of a llama at the park after swallowing a plastic bag, plastic materials have been banned ins