Vandalur Zoo which is officially known as the Arignar Anna Zoological Park is basically a zoological garden. It is located in Vandalur which is a suburb in the southwestern part of Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. The Vandalur Zoo is about 31 kilometres (19 mi) from the city centre and 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from Chennai Airport. There is a systematic order of priority which begins with local species and is followed by regional, national, and international species. It was set up in the year 1855 and was the first ever public zoo in India. The zoo is home to over 2,553 species of flora and fauna across 1,265 acres. This zoo is affiliated with the Central Zoo Authority of India and is the largest zoological park in India. It is spread over an area of 602 hectares which is approximately 1,490 acres. This is including a 92.45-hectare rescue and rehabilitation centre. Apart from 46 endangered species, in its 160 enclosures. 47 species of mammals, 63 species of birds, 31 species of reptiles, 5 species of amphibians, 28 species of fishes, and 10 species of insects in the park.
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The vision with which this Vandalur Zoo was established was to be a repository of the state's fauna but the main objectives of the park are ex-situ propagation of critically endangered species to prevent their extinction, wildlife education and interpretation aimed at a wider public appreciation of wildlife, and wildlife research to promote wildlife conservation and management. It has been credited with being the second wildlife sanctuary in Tamil Nadu after Mudumalai National Park. The zoo has a very special ecosystem consists of dry deciduous and dry evergreen scrub forest vegetation of the Eastern Ghats. What makes this park unique is that it is built based on the 'open zoo' concept. The Vandalur zoo is located within the Vandalur Reserve Forest area. This zoological park is located at Vandalur in the south-western part of the Chennai Metropolitan Area, about 6 kilometres from Tambaram.