Another major tourist attraction in Mysore city is the Mysore Zoo. The Mysore zoo is over a century old and has an interesting history of its own. The zoological gardens in Mysore were set up by Maharaja Chamaraja Wodeyar who is acclaimed as one of the architects of modern Mysore. The Maharaja was a nature buff and set up a number of gardens and parks in Mysore. The Bandipur Wildlife Sanctuary was established during the reign of the Maharaja to entertain important visitors to Mysore and give them the opportunity to observe the animals in their natural habitat.
In 1972 the Government handed over the Zoo to the Forest Department and it then entrusted it to an autonomous body in 1979. The Zoo Authority of Karnataka became the first autonomous body in the country to manage a zoo. A zoo has been able to breed various animals in captivity successfully. Today though the Mysore zoo is over a century old it has spacious enclosures, walk throughs, a veterinary hospital, with facility for quarantine, operation theatre, medicine rooms and wards for animals. The Mysore zoo is located at a distance of about 3 km from the City Bus Stand and 2 km from the Mysore Palace. The Mysore zoo is open from 8.30am to 5.30pm on all days except Tuesday.