Bhagwan Birsa Biological Park, 20km from Ranchi, situated on both sides of NH33 at Ormanjhi.
Bhagwan Birsa Biological Park: One of the Most Beautiful Zoos in India
Bhagwan Birsa Biological Park, Ranchi, also known as Bhagwan Birsa Zoo, Ranchi, is considered one of the most beautiful and progressive zoos in India. The park is spread across 104 hectares of mildly undulating topography with natural dry deciduous Sal forests and water bodies in and around it. It is situated on both sides of National Highway 33, approximately 20 km from Ranchi city, the capital of Jharkhand.
History and Development
Bhagwan Birsa Biological Park was established on January 26, 1994, by the erstwhile Govt. of Bihar in a notified Protected Forest in Chakla village, Ormanjhi block, Ranchi district. The zoo was named after Birsa Munda, a legendary tribal freedom fighter of Chotanagpur area where in he is revered as Bhagwan and hence the name of this zoo “Bhagwan Birsa Biological Park.”
Initially, the zoo was recognized as a small zoo, but in 2013, it was upgraded to a medium zoo by the Central Zoo Authority. The zoo had been under the direct management of the state government up to October 23, 2009. However, the government of Jharkhand constituted an autonomous body, Jharkhand Zoo Authority, on October 23, 2009, for better management of Bhagwan Birsa Biological Park.
The Park’s Objectives
The objectives of the park are to conserve rare, threatened, and endangered species of fauna, facilitate the linkage between ex-situ and in-situ conservation, breed and rear endangered faunal species, create awareness and education in wildlife conservation through zoo-people interface, and provide a naturalistic habitat and environment for the animals.
The Zoo’s Inhabitants
The park houses about 1450 wild animals representing 83 different species of mammals, reptiles, and birds. Most of the zoo’s inhabitants live in open, large moated areas surrounded by natural vegetation that provides them with a naturalistic habitat and environment. The major breeding species include Himalayan Black Bear, Sloth Bear, Leopard Cat, Royal Bengal Tiger, Jungle Cat, Jackal, Fox, Stripped Hyena, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Sambar, Nilgai, Black Buck, Indian Gour, Hippopotamus, Gangetic Gharial, Emu, Ostrich, Indian Peafowl, and different species of pheasants.
Along with this, the zoo have a specified corner for snakes which has almost 20 different varieties of snakes including Cobras, Pythons etc. Additionally, the zoo rehabilitates and takes care of orphaned, injured, stray, sick animals, rescued from the wild or from circuses, derecognized zoos, etc.
Management and Funding
The zoo is managed by Jharkhand Zoo Authority, an autonomous body, and the annual plan of the zoo is approved by the governing body. The funds of the authority consist of grants from the state government, revenues received from visitor ticket sales, and other miscellaneous revenues. Green fodder is grown organically in-house within the park, which ensures fresh, nutritious, and pollution-free fodder for the herbivores of the zoo.
The Park’s Aquarium
The Biological Park also has an aquarium, which is perhaps the largest freshwater aquarium in the country, housing about 1500 fishes representing 120 species in 58 display tanks. It has an annual footfall of about 1.5 lakh visitors.
The vision of this zoo is to become a world class Zoo and a leader, in the field of exsitu conservation of rare, endangered and threatened fauna, while providing naturalistic environment to the inmates of the zoo ensuring utmost Animal Health Care and their welfare, and promoting Conservation Breeding, genetic diversity, Research and Wildlife Education and best possible viewing experience to the visitors.
The mission of the zoo is conservation of wildlife though best management practices, conservation breeding and utmost animal health care, and creating conservation awareness among the people. They create a sustainable environment for animals to live as well as a suitable conditions for normal people to visit and see the animals, so that both people can come closer to nature and gain some information and knowledge about animals in a way full of fun. The zoo is intended to tell people about the importance of nature & wildlife, so that people visiting here can know the importance pf wildlife and can be a part of its protection and conservation