After a short tour to HMI we finally entered the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, the largest high-altitude zoo in India. We started by exploring the bird cages that had lots of Golden, Kalij and Silver Pheasants, Blue Gold Macaw, Red-eyed Cockatoo, Parrots / Parakeet, Gray Peacock, Himalayan Monal, Hill Myna and many more beautiful birds. It was winters, so did not hope to see any reptiles or amphibians, so we climbed uphill to the mammals section. The zoo was very clean with well maintained cages. They had some Asiatic Black bears enjoying the sunny day by sleeping the whole time!
Among the carnivores they had a healthy Indian Tiger, shiny Black Panther, Common Leopard and few rare species like Snow Leopard, Clouded Leopard, Leopard cat, Tibetan Wolf, etc.
The zoo houses herbivorous like Goral, Blue sheep, Himalayan Tahr, Sambhar, Musk and Barking Deer too. Apart from these, they also had Himalayan Palm Civet, Jackals, Slow Loris and most importantly the Himalayan Red Panda. The Himalayan Red Panda (Alurus Fulgens Fulgens) was declared Endangered Species by IUCN in 2004, got a successful captive breeding program here. This zoological park specializes in breeding animals who adapted to alpine conditions, and has successful captive breeding programs for the snow leopard and the critically endangered Himalayan wolf.We were so amused that when checked the time it was around 2 PM and we had to headed for lunch. Rest of the day we spent by resting, roaming around the Mall in evening and finished with a great treat at a local Tibetan food stall near Mall – a very economic place run by mother and son.