Himalayan Zoological Park – Red Panda & Snow Leopard

Himalayan Tahr

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Good Morning Everyone, It was a cold morning and I got to put on my leather jacket finally. It’s funny after living at some of the coldest winter areas in India. You are in Mumbai and Bangalore where you don’t even feel any cold throughout the year. It was really a view out of my window that morning and I woke everyone up that it’s time.

Himalayan Zoological Park

The adventure was about to begin we were heading to the Himalayan Zoological Park in Gangtok. I mostly don’t visit any zoo when I travel but this was a unique one. As you only get to see the Red Panda and the Snow Leopard here. At an elevation of 7000ft above sea level, it the also the largest and highest Zoo. So we were excited about that and also we heard some nice reviews about how they have organised the whole area with creating the natural environment for the animals to live in. But yeah there were cages for all to be safe. There is a normal fee for you to enter the zoo.

Reaching there

We were at the entrance in no time as we had the travel organised with a tour guide Mr Sonam Rinchen. A young and friendly guide who will give you the insights about the place and keep the fun going. After taking your tickets you are taken towards the parking area where you can save the map showing the animals located in the different parts.

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Follow @misteravinash Shot with my @gopro from the top looking at the Himalayan Thar. What a beautiful view isn't it 😀. Himalayan Zoological Park – This is zoo is quite unique and the first of its kind in India where animals are kept in natural habitats (well I should say semi natural habitats). it's a wonderful parkland that spans across a vast 230 hectares forested land with elevations ranging from 6,500 t0 8,000 feet. The entrance to the Zoo is at the end of a short pathway opposite to Ganesh Tok. It's about 6kms from Gangtok town. There is a 2.5kms long road that runs through the park. You can either choose to drive through (one way) or walk. If you prefer to walk, remember it's going to take a fairly long time. And in that case you should book a reserved car for about half a day to enjoy and experience the zoo.

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How about setting them free with CCTV Around

We saw the Leopard first sitting relaxed on the ramp made for him with logs of wood. Just look at the picture how he gave me the stare. As such close distance even with a cage, it felt scary to look him into the eyes. But a little sad too as I think the whole concept of the zoo can be digitised with cameras all around a forest where they are left open for you to see them online. And also people can buy food for them or even can donate or maybe even pet them online. Weird Idea I think most of you guys would say but imagine that you can see them day and night also save them if they are hurt or sick. Comment down below how many of you agree with such a park where they are free to do anything they can.

Red Panda

Next stop was to spot the Red Panda not that huge to be easily spotted. So started looking around their huge cage if we could see one. After some time we spotted one far off on the other side of the cage on a tree. Impossible to take a selfie with them as it looked like a tiny dot on my phone. They are an endangered species with their native being the eastern Himalayas. We spotted just one but there are many in the zoo we stood there for some time watching them play there.

Red Panda Caught him Hiding on the Tree
Red Panda Caught him Hiding on the Tree

Himalayan Tahr

The Himalayan Tahr is one of the three close relatives of wild goats. They are most active in the early morning or late afternoon but we were able to spot the same. As we asked the cleaner in the cage where it was. So he guided us where it was after which it came out and the cleaner was doing his job with it around. Hopefully, they are not harmful to people around or maybe he knew him so was carefree of his presence there.

Snow Leopard

We were not able to spot the snow leopard as they told us that it got hurt and they were taking care of him for the day. It is also one of the unique animals you can see at the zoo.

After not able to see the same we took a quick tour of seeing the wild cats, Himalayan crestless porcupine, gorals, Siberian tigers and many other endangered birds. We were there for 3-4 hours walking around the zoo. That was it for our visit to the zoo after which we headed over to our next spot a must do activity if you are in Gangtok. Will talk about that in the next post see you guys then.

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