It was formerly known as Himalayan Zoological Park and was established on 14th August, 1958 in Darjeeling (West Bengal) as a joint venture of Govt. of India (Department of Science and Technology) and Govt. of West Bengal (Department of Education). In January, 1972, the Park was converted into a registered Society under West Bengal Societies Registration Act, 1961 with an understanding that the maintenance cost of the zoo will be shared by the Center and State Governments. The Society in May, 1993 was transferred to Department of Forests, Govt. of West Bengal. At the Govt. of India level the Zoological Park is under the Ministry of Environment and Forests.This is the only specialized Zoo in the country and is internationally recognized for its conservation breeding programmes of Red Panda, Snow Leopards, Tibetan Wolf and other highly endangered animal species of Eastern Himalaya.