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Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zjoological Park, Darjeeling  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.


Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park (also called the Darjeeling Zoo) is spread over an area of  67.56-acre (27.3 ha) in the town of Darjeeling of West Bengal, India.  The zoo was opened in 1958, at an average elevation of 7,000 feet (2,134 m), is the largest high altitude zoo in India. It specializes in breeding animals adapted to alpine conditions, and has successful captive breeding programs for the snow leopard, the critically endangered Himalayan wolf and the red panda. The zoo attracts about 300,000 visitors every year. The park is named after Padmaja Naidu (1900–1975), daughter of Sarojini Naidu.

A zoo was established on August 14, 1958 in the Birch Hill neighbourhood of Darjeeling under the Department of Education of the Government of West Bengal with a goal to study and preserve Himalayan fauna. Its first Director and founder was Dilip Kumar Dey. Mr. Dey, who belonged to the Indian Forest Service was on deputation to the Department of Education for the express purpose of establishing a high-altitude zoological park specializing mainly in Himalayan flora and fauna. The park's prized possessions were a pair of Siberian (Ussuri) tigers presented to the Government of India by Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev in 1960. Over the years famous names in the world of Conservation have been attracted to and have visited the PNHZP. The zoo now contains endangered animals like snow leopards, red pandas, gorals (mountain goat), Bengal tigers and a variety of endangered birds. However, there has been concern regarding the fact that the Himalayan animals may face a threat due to rising temperatures in the hilly area.

In January 1972, the park became a registered society, with an agreement that maintenance costs would be shared by the central and state governments. In May 1993, the park was transferred to the West Bengal Department of Forests. The park was renamed in 1975 when Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India, visited the park and dedicated it to the memory of Padmaja Naidu.


The zoo includes an off-display breeding center for snow leopards and red pandas. Captive breeding of snow leopards was started in 1983, with leopards which were brought to the zoo from Zurich, the United States, and Leh-Ladakh. The red panda program was started in 1994 with individuals from the Cologne Zoo, the Madrid Zoo, Belgium, and the Rotterdam Zoo. In addition to these species, the zoo is breeding the Himalayan tahr, blue sheep, Himalayan monal, grey peacock pheasant, Himalayan salamander, blood pheasant and satyr tragopan.  The zoo is famous for its conservation breeding programmes of the red panda, Himalayan salamander, Tibetan wolf, and snow leopard.


This zoo  has two  satellite facilities at Dowhill, Kurseong at a altitude of 6,000 feet  and Topkeydara for conservation breeding of endangered species like - (i) Pheasants, (ii) Herbivore,  (iii) Snow Leopard and  (iv) Red Panda.

At a Glance



1. Name of the Zoo Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, Darjeeling, West Bengal
2. Category of the Zoo Small
3. Zoo Location Jawahar Parbat (West), Darjeeling
4. Area of the Zoo 27.00 hectare & 7 ha (at Dowhill)
5. Year of Establishment 1958
6. Objective

I   Conservation Breeding of endangered wild animal

     species of eastern Himalayas.

II   Research for wildlife conservation

III Conservation Education

7. Theme of display

I   Broad taxonomic display of wild animal

   species of Eastern Himalayas (alpine to lower

     hills) at the present location.

II Satellite facility at Dowhill for Sambar, Barking

   Deer, Wild Boar, Goral, Red Jungle Fowl and Kalij

   Pheasant only
8. No. of Visitors (annually) approx. 2.88 lakhs
9. Animal Collection Plan As above
10. Manpower

I   Director (CF rank) - 1 No.                                            

II Deputy Director (Curator-animals) - 1 No. and

     RFO level Curator - 1 No. for Dowhill location.

III Vet. Officer - 1 No.

IV Education Officer/Biologist - 1 No.

V Support staff as per needs
11. In-charge



Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park,

Jawar Parbat (West), Darjeeling 734 101, West Bengal


West Bengal

  Telephone No.




  E-mail Id

12. Controlling Authority The Addl. Chief Secretary
  Address Department of Forests, Government of West Bengal, Writers' Buildings, Kolkata
  Telephone No. 033-22145704 (O)
  Fax 033-22144063
  E-mail Id  
13. Remarks Specialized Zoo dealing with high altitude endangered wild animal species of eastern Himalaya. Conservation Breeding and release back to wild in respect of Red Panda, Conservation Breeding of Snow Leopards
Master Plan
Not Found
Zoo Visitors
Not Found


Party Name




Dudley Zoo, U,K


Snow Leopard

1 year

Pallashree Ltd, Kolkata


Snow Leopard

1 year

Pallashree Ltd, Kolkata


Red Panda

1 year



Two Lakh Fifty Thousand only


Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park,

Jawar Parbat (West), Darjeeling. Pin -  734101, West Bengal

Telephone No. 0354-2252522/2253709
E-mail Id