Karachi, the largest and most vibrant metropolitan city in Pakistan, is widely known for its distinctive culture, a large number of tourist spots, and delicious food options. One of the most-visited places in Karachi is the famous Karachi Zoo.
In this blog, Graana.com has provided all the details you need to know about the Karachi Zoo before you plan your visit.
Overview of Karachi Zoo
The following is some general information about the place:
- This zoo was established in 1893 and was once known as Gandhi Garden.
- In addition to a zoo, it features a number of botanical gardens.
- There is an impressive collection of unique birds here, which are from Pakistan as well as other parts of the world.
- A specified area of the lake there serves as a natural habitat for alligators and crocodiles, while another section of the same lake is home to several types of waterfowl, such as ducks, geese, and swans.
- There are over a dozen distinct reptile species on display in the Reptile House, which requires a separate ticket to enter. These reptiles include lizards, snakes, tortoises, and even some tiny crocodiles.
- There is also a Natural History Museum, which requires a separate admission fee. It exhibits a number of preserved creatures, some of which are in danger of becoming extinct in Pakistan as a result of excessive hunting and poaching.
- One of the most popular sections of the zoo is the Mughal Garden. It has a variety of flowers and plants, and intricately-designed fountains have been built throughout the area.
- There are a number of professional photographers present at the zoo who are available to take pictures of you.
- They are developed within a short amount of time and for a relatively low cost.
- Both children and adults also have the option to take a ride on a horse or an elephant at the zoo.
- In addition, there is a children’s playland and amusement park there, with various rides and activities.
History of Karachi Zoo
When it opened its gates in the year 1878, the Karachi Zoo was more commonly referred to as the “Mahatma Gandhi Garden”. The British Indian government had handed over control of the zoo to the local municipality earlier in 1861.
In 1878, the town established the zoo as a trust so that it could be developed further using funds that are contributed by the public. After some time, in 1881, the zoo was reopened to the general public. After Pakistan gained independence in 1947, the park’s name was changed to the Karachi Zoological Gardens, more often referred to as the Karachi Zoo.
In 1953, the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation hired a skilled veterinary doctor and a zoo keeper for the zoo. From 1991 to 1992, the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) was given the responsibility of renovating the Natural History Museum.
The Japanese Princess served as the guest of honour at the reopening ceremony of the Natural History Museum in the year 1992. In 2008, there were around 240 people working at the Karachi Zoo across all departments.
Major Attractions at Karachi Zoo
The following list includes some of the major attractions at the Karachi Zoo.
The Elephant House is the most-visited exhibit at the zoo. A few notable events took place here, including the death of an Asian elephant named Anarkali (who was aged 65 years) on 19th July, 2006.
The zoo also received its first female African bush elephants on May 16, 2010, after acquiring them from Karachi Safari Park. Both were given the names ‘Noor Jahan’ and ‘Madhu Bala’ respectively at the time of their birth in Tanzania in 2007.
Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum in Karachi Zoo is one of the most well-known museums in Karachi. It went through extensive renovation work in 1992.
In addition to preserved creatures, the museum also displays skins, antlers, horns, feathers, and so on. Students of zoology make use of the facility for the purpose of research as well as education.
Umbrella Food Street
The Karachi Zoo is undergoing development to meet international standards, with the construction of a food street and the installation of a selfie zone with colorful umbrellas for visitors. New enclosures for the animals have been made, and the Sindh government is providing support for the development.
In 1992, the Reptile House underwent major expansion and renovation work. It is one of the few places in Pakistan that is dedicated to housing reptiles.
There are a total of thirteen different species of snakes and lizards. Crocodiles and crocodile hatchlings are also on display.
The Veterinary Hospital of the Karachi Zoo first opened its doors in 1998, and it has cutting-edge diagnostic equipment.
In addition to multiple sick bays, a laboratory, and an incubation room, the facility features an operating theatre that is fully equipped with X-ray and ultrasound machines.
The lush lawns and seasonal plants featured in the Mughal Garden are complemented by several fountains that have especially been designed according to the Mughal architecture.
The garden was constructed in 1970 and is well-known for the many different types of roses and other flowers that are grown here.
White lions, who were acquired by the zoo in 2012 and are an extremely popular attraction, are currently taking part in a breeding programme.
Noteworthy Animals in Karachi Zoo
Here are some of the noteworthy animals in Karachi Zoo.
In March 2017, the zoo welcomed two new bears, a male Asian black bear, and a female Syrian brown bear, marking a new addition to their wildlife ensemble.
Noor Jehan, a 17-year-old female African elephant residing at the zoo, faced deteriorating health conditions leading up to her tragic demise on April 22, 2023. Her declining health became apparent after an unfortunate fall into a concrete pond at the zoo in April 2023.
In August 2022, the Four Paws team intervened, successfully addressing Noor Jehan’s ailing state by removing her deteriorated tusks. Medical experts from the international animal welfare organization, Four Paws, diagnosed her with an internal hematoma and a damaged pelvic floor, resulting in partial paralysis and substantial physical distress.
Following her fall into the pond, specialized care was provided by foreign medical professionals along with a team of local veterinarians, administering prescribed medications, vitamins, pain relief medications, and hydrotherapy, all in accordance with Four Paws’ recommendations. Plans were in place to relocate both Noor Jehan and her companion elephant, Madhubala, to an environment adhering to international standards once Noor Jehan’s health permitted.
Noor Jehan’s declining health drew widespread concern and empathy from numerous individuals, including prominent figures like singer Natasha Baig and actresses Ayesha Omar, Zhalay Sarhadi, and Simi Rahael, who advocated for animal rights in response to the situation.
On April 22, 2023, despite concerted efforts by local veterinarians and Four Paws International, Noor Jehan succumbed to her condition while undergoing treatment for a tumor and hemorrhage. Advocacy groups for animal protection emphasized the need for enhanced care for captive wild animals in Pakistan, specifically advocating for the repatriation of Noor Jehan’s companion, Madhubala.
Madhubala, another female African elephant at the zoo, reportedly separated from her mother in Tanzania at a young age before being brought to Pakistan. In August 2022, the Four Paws team conducted a successful removal of Madhubala’s deteriorated tusks, offering crucial care and attention amid the challenging circumstances.
Timings of Karachi Zoo
You can visit the Karachi Zoo anytime between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM. However, it should be noted that Wednesdays are reserved for children and women only.
The ticket price for each person is Rs. 30.
Here are some FAQs about Karachi Zoo.
What are the visiting hours for Karachi Zoo?
The visiting hours for Karachi Zoo are from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, seven days a week.
How much does it cost to enter the Karachi Zoo?
The admission fee for the Karachi Zoo is 40 PKR for adults and 20 PKR for children.
What kind of animals can be seen at the Karachi Zoo?
The Karachi Zoo is home to a wide range of animals, including lions, tigers, monkeys, birds, reptiles, and many more. Visitors can also see different species of fish in the aquarium and a variety of animals at the safari park.
Is the Karachi Zoo safe for visitors?
The Karachi Zoo is considered safe for visitors, as it has several security measures in place to ensure the safety of visitors. However, visitors are advised to follow the park’s rules and regulations, and to keep an eye on their belongings while visiting the zoo.
Can visitors bring their own food into the Karachi Zoo?
Visitors are not allowed to bring their own food into the Karachi Zoo. However, there is a food street within the park where visitors can purchase a variety of delicious and affordable foods.
Are there any restrooms available at the Karachi Zoo?
Yes, there are several restrooms available at the Karachi Zoo for visitors to use.
Is there a parking lot available at the Karachi Zoo?
Yes, there is a parking lot available at the Karachi Zoo for visitors to park their vehicles.
Is the Karachi Zoo accessible for people with disabilities?
The Karachi Zoo has limited accessibility for people with disabilities, and visitors with disabilities may find it difficult to navigate certain areas of the park. Visitors with disabilities are advised to check with the park’s staff for assistance and information about accessibility.
The Karachi Zoo is quite an appealing place to visit, for both children and young adults. A large number of schools have even arranged school trips here over the years to provide an educational yet fun-filled experience to the students.
They get to learn about different kinds of animals and their habitat. It is also a popular place for spending a day with your family.
The area is well-kept, there are plenty of exhibits to enjoy, and you can catch a break in-between by lazing around in the gardens. There are also several food vendors available here, so you can grab some snacks as well.
For more guides on popular tourist spots in Karachi, visit the Graana blog.