I visited the Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park & Wildlife Research Centre recently while I was in Pune. You can take a bus or rickshaw to reach Katraj which is about Rs 100 by rick  (if you don’t get a bus) from Phoolgate busstop near MG Road.  The park is pretty huge and worth a visit if you like to walk in green places under the shade of trees. Here are a few photographs I took:

Katraj zoo gate. Photo by Mahafreed Irani
Katraj zoo gate. Photo by Mahafreed Irani
Katraj zoo sign: List of animals. Photo by Mahafreed Irani
Katraj zoo sign: List of animals. *I didn’t get to see the wolf, jackal, and vulture :(* Photo by Mahafreed Irani
Pune zoo iguana. Photo by Mahafreed Irani
Pune zoo iguana. Pretty impressive. Looks like it was smiling. Nice combination of evil and cute :p Photo by Mahafreed Irani

Some green iguana facts outside this cage read: Males have better developed crests and larger heads with splashes of orange. The green iguana is widely distributed in tropical rain forests of Central and South America. The young mainly feed on insects while the adults are exclusively vegetarian.

Pune zoo gharial.  The gharial derives its name from swelling on tip of male's snout which resembles a ghara (earthen pot). Photo by Mahafreed Irani
Pune zoo gharial. The gharial derives its name from swelling on tip of male’s snout which resembles a ghara (earthen pot). Photo by Mahafreed Irani
Turtle, tortoise, terrapin: What's the difference? Photo by Mahafreed Irani
Turtle, tortoise, terrapin: What’s the difference? Photo by Mahafreed Irani
The Indian star-backed tortoise. They are veggies but can eat bird excreta and fish. They are protected by Indian law and you can't keep them at home as pets. Photo by Mahafreed Irani
The Indian star-backed tortoise. They are veggies but can eat bird excreta and fish. They are protected by Indian law and you can’t keep them at home as pets. Photo by Mahafreed Irani
Stone Swallower at the Pune zoo. Most crocodiles swallow stones that help them grind food.. Photo by Mahafreed Irani
Stone Swallower at the Pune zoo. Most crocodiles swallow stones that help them grind food.. Photo by Mahafreed Irani
They look like the Rhesus monkeys to me. Unlike the Mumbai zoo where the monkeys are locked in cages... these monkeys had an enclosure with trees... comparatively free-er. Photo by Mahafreed Irani
These look like the Rhesus monkeys to me. Unlike the Mumbai zoo where the monkeys are locked in cages… these monkeys had an enclosure with trees… comparatively free-er. Photo by Mahafreed Irani
Trees at the Pune zoo. Photo by Mahafreed Irani
Trees at the Pune zoo. I totally enjoyed walking in the shade of these beauties. Photo by Mahafreed Irani
A very interesting zoo warning sign at the Pune zoo. Photo by Mahafreed Irani
Do not throw stones at snakes! A very interesting zoo warning sign at the Pune zoo. Interestingly, I saw that some people had dropped coins in the snake enclosures. Not sure why. Photo by Mahafreed Irani
How they function: Beaks of different birds. Photo by Mahafreed Irani
How they function: Beaks of different birds. Photo by Mahafreed Irani
A high jump sand pit. I think I'm frog level :-) Photo by Mahafreed Irani
A long jump sand pit. I think I’m frog level 🙂 Photo by Mahafreed Irani
Pune zoo tiger. Beauty of a cat. According to Wikipedia his name is Tanaji. Photo by Mahafreed Irani
Pune zoo tiger. Beauty of a cat. According to Wikipedia his name is Tanaji. Photo by Mahafreed Irani
Pune zoo's tiger Tanaji. Gorgeous up close eh? Photo by Mahafreed Irani
Pune zoo’s tiger Tanaji. Gorgeous up close eh? It’s a pity he’s all alone. Photo by Mahafreed Irani

Hoping to visit more places with animals and greenery around. Mysore zoo, I heard, is pretty good. I don’t think the Mumbai zoo is even worth a mention!

And here’s why:

It has too many empty cages! But here’s who you can meet after spending hours looking into empty cages…

Hippo at Mumbai zoo. Photo by Mahafreed Irani
Hippo at Mumbai zoo. Photo by Mahafreed Irani
An emu at the Mumbai zoo. Photo by Mahafreed Irani
An emu at the Mumbai zoo. Photo by Mahafreed Irani
A caged monkey at Mumbai zoo. Photo by Mahafreed Irani
A caged monkey at Mumbai zoo. Photo by Mahafreed Irani
The neel gai at Mumbai zoo. Photo by Mahafreed Irani
The neel gai at Mumbai zoo. Photo by Mahafreed Irani
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