I felt fortunate that I was able to visit the Zoo in New Delhi again a few weeks ago, after I had a brief encounter with India’s most important zoological garden in 2008. Being owned and run by the central government it has been established to be an example to other zoos in India. Carl-Heinrich Hagenbeck, owner of Hagenbeck Zoo at Stellingen, Hamburg (Germany), was asked to design the new Zoo in India’s capital in the 1950s. As the grandson of the world-famous founder of Hagenbeck Zoo, he honoured his grandfather by designing from scratch exactly what Carl Hagenbeck did earlier in Stellingen, Hamburg: he built open moated bar-less enclosures.
Since my last newsletter two world famous zoo animals died. First, Colo the first zoo-born gorilla passed away at the age of 60. Next, Packy the first elephant born in captivity in the Western Hemisphere in 44 years, on 14 April 1962, was humanely euthanized at Oregon Zoo on 9 February due to a drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis.
But there was some good news too, with the first video footage of the extremely rare Dryas monkey population in the Congo Basin. Hope you enjoy the reading material…
It has been over eight years since my first visit to Delhi Zoo or the National Zoological Park as it is officially called. This time the weather is a bit more friendly – less hot and damp – to my non-acclimatised fitness and there’s even less smog in town. In other words perfect conditions for a short visit and see if things have changed, and if the master plan has further materialised. First thing I notice when I arrive at the gate – after I convinced the tuktuk driver that the Zoo was most certainly not closed that day – is the revamped entrance. More information here.