It is undoubted that a large zoo which has the common varieties of animals like the lion, tiger, elephant, hyena, rhinoceros, bear etc.
and some unusual animals like the Black Panther, lion-tailed monkey, baboon etc. lend much attraction to a city or town. Indeed youngsters are eager to visit a zoo and have a look at the various kinds of wild animals and birds there. There are zoos in every city.
The Vandal or zoo on the outskirts of Chennai is a big zoo. It is spread over a vast area. There is a small train which carries visitors around the zoo. The train is operated on the battery system.
It runs on the road. The train stops where there are enclosures for animals. Visitors can also walk leisurely around the zoo. There are lions, tigers, black panthers, elephants, rhinoceroses, monkeys of different kinds, camels, deer, birds of different kinds etc.
Children curiously watch a tiger coming round and round its enclosure. A black panther, as black as the jackets night, staring at the thronging visitors, is something of endless fascination. Nocturnal birds like the owl in a lighted enclosure are a rare treat to the children and the adults. Snakes several feet long like the python and the king cobra in their enclosures excite us. The lion safari is thrilling.
Visitors are taken in a van into the vast lions’ enclosure surrounded by hills. There are some lions and they are resting beside the wayside trees or dozing. When the van stops near them they stare at the visitors and the visitors stare at them. No one should step down from the van as the ferocious lions may pounce on a visitor and kill him or her.
But the staff in charge of the van will not allow anyone to get down from the van. No one has the courage to get down. The lion safari is the most interesting item to a visitor to the zoo. The Hyderabad zoo, the Mysore zoo, the Thiruvananthapuram zoo and many other zoos in the north India are big zoos. There is a canteen in every zoo and visitors can eat the food items they like. There are wildlife sanctuaries all over India. A wildlife sanctuary covers a few hundred square miles.
The wild animals like the tiger, wild boar, elephant etc. roam about freely in their natural habitat. In some sanctuaries visitors are allowed to go in their cars or tourists’ vans.
The Mudhumalai wildlife sanctuary near Ooty and the Mundanthurai wildlife sanctuary near Kayaked in the extreme south of India are famous wildlife sanctuaries. The Corbett National Park is a famous wildlife sanctuary in the north India. Jim Corbett was a lover of wildlife and he had many encounters with tigers and elephants. He had written many interesting books on his experiences with the wild animals. A famous photographer of wildlife was M. Krishnan and his photographs of the wild animals in close range and interesting poses are a source of great delight and information.