Assam Zoo and Botanical Garden

Guwahati, Assam
February 2006

  • Living conditions and sanitation were abysmal.
  • Security has been so lax that poachers once entered the Indian rhino’s enclosure and nearly killed him.
  • Two elephants were each chained by three of their legs.
  • A white African rhino – who has been living alone for 36 years – had an injury above his horn from banging his head on the wall of the enclosure. The boundary wall of the enclosure was broken, allowing intruders to enter freely.


  • The pond in the hippopotamus enclosure was fetid and dirty, and the enclosure was too small for four animals.
  • Monkeys were caged alone, and the enclosures were filthy and smelled of urine.
  • The lion enclosure was filthy and contained rotten meat and bones.
  • A bear kept in a barren enclosure showed stereotypical neurotic behaviour by pacing up and down. He was missing much of his fur, and his face was covered with fleas and ticks.
  • Two other bears had very dirty water in the moat around the enclosure.
  • A vulture was caged alone, and there was very little water in the enclosure.
  • A peacock was kept alone in a small cage, with no protection from visitors who pulled feathers from his tail.
  • Visitors were able to reach inside the mynah bird’s cage.
  • More than four adult birds of prey were housed together in the same small enclosure which did not have any enrichment.

Chained Elephant Although they have a large enclosure, the elephants are chained by three legs and cannot roam.
Injured Rhino This rhino has been alone in his enclosure for 36 years and developed this wound from banging his head against the wall in frustration.
Tiny Hippo Enclosure The hippo enclosure is far too small for the four hippos living here, and it is filthy and stinking.
Isolated Monkey This monkey is kept isolated in an enclosure.
Lion's Pit/ Graveyard The lions’ pit is a graveyard of bones that obviously has not been cleaned in a very long time. Visitors can smell the stench from a viewing platform high above the pit.

Infected Bear This bear has ticks all over his eyes and face. Patches o

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