Central Zoo, Kathmandu, Nepal

Central Zoo, Kathmandu

Central Zoo, Kathmandu

After a break of a few weeks I am going to return to writing about my time in Nepal. If you want to read earlier posts about my time in Nepal, click on the appropriate link in the contents section on the sidebar, or choose one of the categories.

One of the things I really wanted to do while in Kathmandu was to visit their zoo. My family and I are keen visitors to zoos and wildlife parks here in Australia. I am a life member of the Adelaide Zoo in South Australia, so it was only natural that I wanted to visit a foreign zoo. I also thought it would be a good opportunity to observe some of the native animals I had missed while exploring different parts of Nepal.

Central Zoo, Kathmandu

Central Zoo, Kathmandu

Central Zoo in Kathmandu in the only zoo in Nepal. It is within easy reach of most parts of the city. It was very cheap to enter; two Australian dollars if my memory is correct plus another dollar if I wanted to take photos. The day I visited was a sunny, clear day and so there were many visitors, including several large groups of school children.

Overall, my impression of this zoo is one of great disappointment. It was generally clean and well maintained but the animals on show were merely token efforts at representing some of the fauna of this beautiful country. The enclosures were obviously constructed in the late 1800s and have never been upgraded since. Heavy mesh wire cages and bars were everywhere, with no attempts at making the enclosures pleasant for the animals nor aesthetic for the human visitors.

It is a sad reminder of how zoos once were constructed. One cannot blame the zoo authorities for this sad state. Nepal has endured massive political and financial pressures in recent decades; there would have been no sense of urgency or even a perceived need to improve the overall appearance of the displays, nor to care more humanely for the animals on display.

In coming days I will feature some of the animals I photographed.


28 Responses to “Central Zoo, Kathmandu, Nepal”

  1. Scranton Zoo says:

    Great post. I really enjoyed it. I will have to bookmark this site for later.

  2. Trevor says:

    I like visiting different zoos. You may find it interesting to go my archives to read more about zoos I have visited. Click on this link:


  3. Yogendra Shrestha says:

    I relly hate those guys who work as volentier workers and security guard.They are such a stupid.
    Today I went to Zoo with my family and I have carried plastic bags for my rain coats. They have stoped me to carry that plastic bags in to the Zoo.I surprise that why I can’t carry it. Any way I agreed to change my rain coat in another bag which they gave me instead of my plastic bag. I have rounded around whole zoo and i have fond lots of plastics throwing arond the path.and selling some plastic packing food inside the zoo. Why they control it and they are asking to make emty of peoples loggege.
    After I complete to see, I went to return bag to get my plastic bag. But they have lost my bag and gave me another bag.I found there is no management and just sat in the chair.I wanted to complain about me but two of security guard came and pushed me away.
    I relly relly hate it and I don’t want to go again.

  4. Trevor says:

    Thank you for your comments Yogendra. It makes me sad that you were treated in this way. A visit to a zoo should be a happy event. I must say that I did not really enjoy my visit. Many of the animals seemed so bored and unhappy.

  5. Dipshikha says:

    I have been to this zoo!! I love it. The best zoo in the world lamo

  6. Trevor says:

    Hi Dipshikha,

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I think you must be trying to be sarcastic when you say that it is “the best zoo in the world.” It is far from being even a good zoo let alone the best. Sadly, it is probably a candidate for the worst zoo in the world, which is a pity as it is in a most beautiful country.

  7. Bhagawat Bhakta Khokhali says:

    Mr. Yogendra Shrestha,
    Thank you for all your concerns. Your recommendation and comments will be forwarded to higher officials of National Trust for Nature Conservation/Central Zoo

  8. supriyaa says:

    well …emm its sad that u were treated lyk that..but i guess the zoo authority n the volunteers are doing great job…its a hioghtym for all ppl around the world to think about the climate change we all are facin..though its jus a small move frm the only zoo of nepal..but i guess we sudnt me underestimating its hardwork…we must think as a member of the whole world before we take it as individual problem!!CAUTION!!me myself is a volunteer member n im workin on a project for betterment of the zoo authority!!those poor volunteers n security guard are at work frm 9 to 5 in da mornin…yes we cannot expect evryone to b perfect but as far as i have seen they realy are workin hard!!rest…emm we all know better!banning plastic within zoo premises may seem useless at first but its a awareness among us about the unknown and unseen harmful effects of plastic bag…alternatives to plastic bag sud be enforced not by others but ourself..!as an environment student myself…i have minimised usin plastic bags……i wud lyk to apologize for watever way u were bahaved with but i sincerely request ppl to take it wid a gud spirit…n learn somethin for savin our natural environment@@

  9. supriyaa says:

    P.S. @ yogendra…>>> plastic bags are nywaz harmful so why do u need some PLASTIC bag when u can have an alternative for that which really can save the environment!@@

  10. arahan says:

    Mr. Yogendra shrestha,
    the job in the zoo was too ban the plastic not just within the zoo premises but outside it too.Knowing tat plastics cannot be decomposed and are harmful for the environment u must avoid it. Calling others stupid does not make u a genius. If you eyes then u must have, or should have seen a 3 big banners on the way to the zoo and also one in the entrance and many inside the zoo. And if you have any a little brain you should have understood that the banner said NO PLASTIC BAGS. If u were so greedy abt the plastic bag u which probably does not cost a penny you should have read that.

    At least people are going one step further in doing something nobel for the environment unlike people who can just complain.

    if ur wondering who i am??i am one of the voluteers.n i have went through alot of people like you in the zoo.i would call them uneducated.

  11. ASHWEEN says:

    look nepal is a 3rd world country …. wat did you expect in the zoo ?? hell im surprised that we even have the animal that we have .. @ yogendra G:A plastic bag is a plastic bag doesnt matter if its frm bhat bhatini or a local fruit shop .. you got a bag to carry your rain coats dint you ?? hell why dint you bring an umbrella two wud be more than enough for a family and is easier to carry around … plastic bags are harmful to the environment inside the zoo and outside of it. and if your so concernd about your plastic bags then take one frm lagankhel there are heaps of it

  12. Trevor says:

    I thank everyone for contributing to this discussion but please remember that I moderate the comments. Please keep your comments polite and respectful of others.

    I almost deleted your comment Ashween because you sounded very angry.

    If the tone of comments continues in this angry way I will close the comments down and not allow any more discussion on this important issue.

    Let’s keep it friendly and respectful.

  13. Ranjana says:

    Ktm zoo can be made better if they shift the place and & also ppl to sponsor animals so zoo can get better fund and animals can get better place to live.

  14. Trevor says:

    You make some good comments Ranjana. Do you know if there is anyone who would be interested in sponsoring the animals?

  15. Gayle says:

    Hi Trevor, interesting blog, which made me really sad to be honest.

    They have a female tiger there who arrived late last year and I am desperately trying to find out how she is getting on so if anyone out there can help me with that I would be very grateful. She means a lot to me for various reasons I’d rather not go into right now. I would certainly sponsor her if I knew how to go about it, perhaps one of the volunteers who have visited can help me out?

    Thank you for any help in my quest! Gayle

  16. Trevor says:

    Thanks for your comments Gayle.

    My visit a few years ago now to Kathmandu zoo was a sad occasion for me – as I explained in the blog post above.

    In complete contrast are many modern zoos here in Australia. Most of our major zoos are into conservation of threatened species in a significant way. They are making a concerted effort to not only preserve species in decline but are actively involved in educating a generally ignorant public.

    In recent weeks I have had the privilege of visiting Taronga zoo in Sydney, Adelaide zoo and Monarto open range zoo (part of Adelaide zoo and only 10 minutes drive from my home). All three zoos are making significant attempts to educate the public and to display the animals in as natural settings as is possible in a small, enclosed environment. In all cases, the welfare of the animals is paramount.

    This is in complete contrast with the zoo in Kathmandu.

  17. Gayle says:

    Hi Trevor, thanks for the reply. The charity that I work for has built several animal sanctuaries around the world, including the Tiger and Rhino rescue and rehabilitation Sanctuary in the Royal Parks in Chitwan, Nepal.

    Our policy is to work with the local people, educating them regarding conservation as well as trying to improve their lives at the same time. In Nepal for example when we funded the building of the sanctuary we also funded the building of an orphanage and school. We bought the land around the orphanage and have provided the villagers with crops/vegetables and paddy fields, taught them how to grow them in order to help them grow not only enough food to survive but eventually to have enough to be able to sell as well. We employed locals to carry out the building work using local resources where possible. The land we have bought has been placed in trust for the orphans.

    In working with the local community we have reached a stage where now when a stray animal (tiger/rhino etc) wander into villages looking for food instead of the locals killing them as they would have even as little as 2 years ago, they contact us to come and get them.

    One of our first tasks was to dredge and clean Lake Beeshazari and the surrounding water ways. We followed this up with water boring, installing water pipes and giving the villagers a sustainable water supply. In return the villages work as teachers in the school or general staff in the orphanage as well as staffing the sanctuary.

    Recently we have also funded a Health Centre. It has been amazing to watch as the locals have learned to respect the local environment and the animals alongside their own lives improving as they learn to farm the land and work in partnership with the animals. The school curriculum includes the important core subjects, maths, English and science as well as agriculture and animal care tailored to suit the local needs. It’s very satisfying work as you can imagine.

    We were the ones who rescued Narayani orphaned and near to death aged just 11 months and took care of her for over 5 years until her transfer to Kathmandu Zoo in January. It has been very hard to say goodbye to her, she was part of our extended family for so long. I am still pining for her to be honest and hate not being able to just pick up the phone and ask one of our staff in Nepal how she is doing!

    My experience of the Nepalese people is that whilst in the main poor, they are very hard working, decent, caring people. I am sure they will do the best they can at the zoo in admittedly difficult circumstances but it doesn’t stop me worrying about “my baby girl”.

    The work in Nepal and the DR Congo have been real success stories for us. The boss and I are hoping to visit Nepal in the next year to 18 months, I had already pencilled in a long weekend trip to the Royal Parks intending to pitch a tent by the rehab sanctuary and spend the whole time by Narayani. I guess I’ll just have to visit the zoo instead and see her there, although I’m not sure they will be too amenable to me camping by her enclosure for the weekend!

    Fingers crossed Arahan or another volunteer revisits your blog and takes pity on me and lets me know how Narayani is doing.

  18. anosh says:

    zoo is rather nice but the smell is very tough.Boating my favourite event is not very well made. In our excursion i nearly drowned.

  19. Trevor says:

    On another post on this blog I received the following comments from the Animal Welfare Network of Nepal (AWNN):

    “AWNN is presently conducting a zoo check of the Central Zoo. Basically the zoo due to its small size, its location, and incredible high number of visitors (over a million per year)is unable to meet acceptable standards. The five freedoms for all species are denied for almost every animal. Visiting the present zoo is a depressing experience. AWNN will campaign for the move of the zoo to different location. The present zoo can be kept as a children’s park with farm animals.”

    This is very good news indeed. You can read about the work of AWNN here:


  20. Utsav Shrestha says:

    I don’t really want 2 believe Mr. Yogendra becauase i’ve visited the zoo alot of times nd i’m never disbehaved like that.Neither i’ve seen it happen.I am a FOZ member(friends of zoo)in ktm. nd so i asked about this issue to the manager. He says nothing like this has ever happened.I am just 13 and i understand about the effect of plastic bags so u also must.I was making a project on night trip at zoo as a member nd i came across this.Some comments were not written in a proper way.Last of all best of luck for ur life’s journey Mr. Trevor.

  21. prajan kayestha says:

    how to be a FOZ member(friends of zoo).

  22. prajan kayestha says:

    zoo is nice but it should be more attractive by doing various programes for to save animals and birds our main theme is to save animals and birds.

  23. Rachana says:

    First of all I would like to thank you Trevor, for visiting the oldest Zoo of Nepal and giving your good suggestion and feedback. As you have already mentioned there is lot needed to do in the Zoo, and we at the Zoo are trying our best to improve it, though with limited financial resources.
    @Gayle.I think mean Tigress Narayani……..for your information she is doing good and is in good health but has not breed till now, if you are really interested to sponsor her kindly contact at rshah@centralzoo.com.np.

    For all our well wishers incoming days we will try our BEST to improve the Zoo and the environment.

    @ Prajan for Friends of the Zoo please contact Zoo office.

  24. ashmita tuladhar says:

    does it open 7 days a week??

  25. Nikisha singh Maharjan says:

    I love going in zoo. Moreover i am a FOZ member. Recently I went in zoo for night safari and I had lots of fun. It is a very nice place.

  26. Prasta Rai says:

    I am saddened for having to read the experience of yours visit to Zoo in Nepal. I realise that there is no proper management but here the main concern is about the poor animals there. I hear millions of news on animal cruelty everyday. It saddens me brings me to my knee and takes out my rage and anger. I am sad for those poor animals who are confined in the small cage in the worst environment of zoo in Nepal. I am a proud Nepali and i know there lives human with pure heart but they miss out on realizing on an issues like this. If only we could appeal that the zoo in Nepal should either be closed or should be upgraded. But I am sure they will never agree to shut this zoo down or will upgrade , the only way is we must raise awareness to all the Nepali somehow not to encourage them by visiting the zoo or raise funds to help upgrade the zoo.

    I am also very sad that there is no proper rules and regulations on animals. And there are some stray animals who gets killed brutually for being a stray. So i have started to run this page on facebook , to create awareness and help the unfortunate stray animals in nepal. please visit this link http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dare-to-Share-save-animals-stop-cruelty-make-difference-starts-from-us-/213790775352034?fref=ts and support this page and share it .
    Thank you
    Regards From
    Animal’s Lover

  27. Sushant ghimire says:

    Best zoo ever

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