his is the only specialized Zoo in the country and is internationally recognized for its conservation breeding programmes of Red Panda, Snow Leopards, Tibetan Wolf and other highly endangered animal species of Eastern Himalaya.
It was formerly known as Himalayan Zoological Park and was established on 14th August, 1958 in Darjeeling (West Bengal) as a joint venture of Govt. of India (Department of Science and Technology) and Govt. of West Bengal (Department of Education). In January, 1972, the Park was converted into a registered Society under West Bengal Societies Registration Act, 1961 with an understanding that the maintenance cost of the zoo will be shared by the Center and State Governments. The Society in May, 1993 was transferred to Department of Forests, Govt. of West Bengal. At the Govt. of India level the Zoological Park is under the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
The Zoological Park is striving for the maintenance of ecological balance in the Eastern Himalayas with the following objectives :
Ex-situ Conservation and Captive Breeding of endangered Himalayan animal species.
Educating, motivating and initiating awareness campaign among the local people as well as visitors on the importance of conservation of Himalayan Eco-system.
Initiating applied research on animal biology, behavior and health care.
The Zoological Park falls under the category of small zoos as per Central Zoo Authority's classification but is the largest high altitude zoo in the country (India).