Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park
The Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park was created out of the Chhatbir Protected Forest in 1977. Named after the governor of Punjab who envisioned it, the Park continues to support conservation of endangered and rare species of wildlife through captive breeding, as well as, encouraging research and awareness on wildlife. Spread over 202 acres of raw scrubland, it is the biggest zoological park in north-western India, with a population of nearly 1,000 animals and birds.
The zoo houses a large number of primates, big cats and several varieties of deer and antelope. Besides housing zebras, hippopotamus and crocodiles, the park is also credited with the successful captive-breeding of the gharial, a critically endangered variety of crocodile distinguished by its long and narrow snout. Among the avian species spotted here are a wide variety of pheasants including the Mongolian and the white-crested Khaleej. The reptile enclosure which includes a python and a sand boa is an immensely popular draw, along with the lion and deer safaris.