Wildlife in KanpurWildlife is important to maintain the balance in nature. Wildlife conservation is a wise management of natural environment for the protection and benefit of plants and animals. Some species of plants and animals have become extinct because of the natural causes. However, in modern times, the activities of human beings and human population growth have increased the danger for wildlife. If people ignore the wild life conservation, today’s endangered species will soon become extinct. Many other species will also face extinction. If this happens we would lose much of great value that cannot be replaced. Wildlife is important to people for four main reasons: (1) beauty, (2) economic value, (3) scientific value and (4) survival value.
Today each and every country and state is striving hard to protect its wildlife. There are more than 1,200 national parks, wildlife reserves and similar protected areas throughout the world. In addition most countries have laws that protect wildlife. So is the case with Kanpur. The state government of Uttar Pradesh is putting in sincere efforts to protect the wildlife that exists in Kanpur.
Allen Forest Zoo
Allen Forest Zoo is a 77 hectare area which makes it the largest open green space not only in Kanpur but also in the whole of Asia. It has a variety of wild flora and fauna. It is one of the zoos in India that were created in a natural forest area. It was established in 1971 by Sir Allen, an erstwhile bureaucrat of the British Indian Civil Services and was named after him. It is also called Kanpur Zoo.
The zoo consists of a variety of vegetation and a rain water lake. It provides a natural habitat for many animals. The mammals that are present here include white Asian tigers, Asiatic lions, cheetahs, leopards, jaguars, hyenas, black, grizzly and sloth bears, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, monkeys, languor, baboons, musk deer, antelopes, chimpanzees and orangutans.
The birds include ostrich, emu, parrots, cranes, parakeets, a variety of Indian birds, European fowls and Latin American birds. Apart from these animals different varieties of reptiles and amphibians are also found here. Nocturnal animals like porcupines, toddy cat and others are housed separately. Many endangered and exotic species are successfully bred here. A few examples are one horned rhinoceros, swamp deer, chimpanzee, orangutan, zebra etc.
The zoo also includes an aquarium and life size sculptures of pre-historic dinosaurs. The zoo has a rare variety of vegetation. It is professionally maintained by the forest conservationists. It attracts people of all age groups and a suitable destination for nature walks, picnics and outdoor recreation. Many school children visit this place to have a better understanding of natural habitats and ecosystems. The zoo has a veterinary hospital that takes care of animals. Plastic bags are strictly banned in the zoo premises. The state government along with the forest department is making all efforts to conserve the wildlife here.
The zoo is located in the Azad Nagar, Nawabganj about two kilometers away from the heart of the city. One can take either private or public transport to reach there. There is an entry fee of Rs. 20/- for an adult and Rs. 10/- per child is charged. Private four-wheelers are also allowed inside the zoo on payment of extra charges. It is opened on all week days except on Mondays between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm. The best time to visit is from October to March.
Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary
Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary is located in Unnao district on the Kanpur-Lucknow highway in Uttar Pradesh. It is situated 45 km away from the Kanpur railway station and one can easily get taxis and buses from here. The sanctuary is spread over 2,246 sq km area attracts a variety of migratory bird species during winters. It consists of a lake surrounded by a beautiful environment. It is one of the main wetlands of Northern India. This sanctuary is being managed by the Uttar Pradesh government and protected under the Wildlife Protection Act. Winter season is the best time to visit the sanctuary.
The avian population here comprises of a mixture of residents as well as migratory birds. Many birds migrate across Himalayas from China, Tibet, Siberia and Europe during winter season. These birds include Gadwall, Pintail, Cotton teal, Greylag Goose, Mallard, Red Crested pochard, Coot and Shoveller. Othe residential birds are Sarus crane, White Ibis, Painted Stork, Spotbill, Peacock, Whistling teal, King crow, White necked stork, Dabchick, Pigeon, Pheasant tailed jacana, Open billed stork, Purple moorhen, Lapwing, Bee eater, Indian roller, Tern vulture and Bronze winged Jacana.
A deer park can also be found in the sanctuary. A few reptiles found in the sanctuary are cobra, viper, krait, rat snake and water snakes. A few turtles are also seen here.
The sanctuary has a wonderful scenic beauty around and a suitable place for picnics. It also has a guest house, restaurant and children’s park here.