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The Government of Nepal has entrusted NTNC to manage the Central Zoo since 1995. Over the period, NTNC has developed the Central Zoo as a national center for conservation education, recreation, wild animal rescue and ex-situ research. With a total area of 6 ha, the Zoo at present houses about 969 animals representing 105 different species. Among these, Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris), Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus indicus), one-horned rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis), red panda (Ailurus fungens), siamang (Hylobates syndactylus), ring-tailed lemur (Limur catta), hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibious) and Himalayan black bear (Melurusthibetanus) are some of the major visitor attractions. Varieties of birds, reptiles and other exotic animals housed at the zoo help to build wildlife appreciation among urban populations. 

The Central Zoo undertakes various activities aimed at educating school children about wildlife conservation and environment through its Friends of Zoo (FOZ)—a network of school students   who are exposed to wildlife conservation and environment protection to take future lead. The Zoo is equipped with facilities for vaccination, nursery and quarantine management, among other animal management and treatment. It also serves as the primary center in the country for rescue and rehabilitation of problem animals and an important source for wildlife translocation. As the managing authority of the only national zoo in Nepal, NTNC continually upgrades its infrastructure and facilities to promote animal welfare, ex-situ research, and better cater to the experience of growing number of visitors.