Maharajbagh zoo is the central zoo of Nagpur, India. The zoo is located in the heart of the city and has been built on the garden of the Bhonsle and Maratha rulers of the city. The zoo comes under the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) of India and is maintained by the Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth(PKV) of Nagpur.
The zoo had come under scrutiny in 2006 for possible closure due to issues concerning animal healthcare but was cleared of all objections raised by CZA in 2007. The Government of Maharashtra has approved a new safari park of international standards next to Gorewada Lake in the city. Animals from Maharajbagh zoo would be moved to this new animal park but the older zoo will remain open for new animals.
The zoo is home to leopards, lion, tiger, peacock and other animals. Of the famous attractions in the zoo - a pair of leopards – Julie and Gopal died of old age in 2006. The pair’s little cub is still in the zoo.
Closure notice and later recognition
Maharajbagh zoo is one of the smaller zoos in India and has consistently faced a shortage of funds for expansion and maintenance. In 2006, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (India) ordered the Maharashtra government to close smaller zoos in the state if they did not comply with the 1998 National Zoo policy.
These orders applied to Nagpur’s zoo as it lacked open enclosures for its animals. Among the 51 objections raised by CZA were that lack of a wall along the nearby open nullah, or water channel, could cause infections among the animals. INR 1 lacs from Nagpur Municipal Corporation helped build a wall and open enclosures and the zoo was cleared of notice.
Zoo came under controversy in August 2009, Nagpur's Guardian Minister Balasaheb Thorat entered a tiger's cage flouting India's Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972. NAGPUR: Even as two more emu deaths were reported in the Maharajbagh Zoo on Tuesday morning, the Panjabrao Deshmukh Kris...hi Vidyapeeth (PDKV), which manages the zoo, has stripped associate dean of the College of Agriculture Vandan Mohod of t...he charge of zoo controller for the deer relocation mess.
Dr VM Bhale, the registrar of the Akola-based PDKV, said: "From Monday evening ER Patil, the dean of faculty of agriculture, has taken additional charge as zoo controller. Mohod will continue to function as associate dean of the college."