Yangon Zoo, also known as the Yangon Zoological Gardens is the second largest zoo located in Myanmar sited towards the north of Yangon downtown close to the Kandawgyi Lake. Being the oldest zoo spanning across 69.25 acre it also houses a Natural History Museum, an amusement park and an aquarium. Having a collection of approximately 200 species, this zoo attracts close to 2.2 million visitors every year. Earlier it was operated by the Forest Department i.e. since April 2011 that belonged to the Ministry of Forestry. Today the Zoo is operated privately and is open between 8am to 6pm every day.
With a total amount of 240.000 Kyats collected through public donation, Yangon Zoo was set up in 1901. The construction work commenced at the existing site with clearing about 61 acres of the virgin soil. However, the initial collection of the wildlife started since 1882 in association with Phayre’s Museum. This museum was located at the current site of Yangon General Hospital. The animals that were present in the zoo eventually got shifted to new areas. The zoological garden that got established in a new way beside the Royal Lakes was named the Victoria Memorial Park that opened on January 1906.
Yangon Zoo today is considered a prominent tourist attraction present in Yangon City for both the localities as well as the foreign visitors. It occupies a total area of 58.16 acres and is in the vicinity of the Great Shwedagon Pagoda. The zoo with its diverse collection of flora and fauna impresses its visitors making it a memorable trip. There are 60 mammal species, 70 bird species and 20 reptile species. Visited by children, teenagers as well as adults and senior citizens, the zoo on every weekend and on the Public holidays arranges an elephant circus and snake dance for its audience.