The Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park (PNHZP) in West Bengal's Darjeeling has been adjudged the best zoo in the country, while Calcutta's Alipore Zoological Garden has secured the fourth position.
A zoo directors' conference was held in Bhubaneswar on September 10 and the Central Zoo Authority released the ranking list in the Odisha capital.
There are around 150 zoos across the country.
As per the list, the Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Chennai has secured the second position, followed by the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens in Mysore, Karnataka.
The Red Panda is one of the top attractions of PNHZP, besides others such as the Himalayan Black Bear, Snow Leopard, Goral and Himalayan Thar.
"We are elated and the credit goes to all the workers of the zoological park," PNHZP director Basavaraj Holeyachi said.
The Central Zoo Authority carried out an evaluation of all the zoos on the basis of different parameters such as management and effectiveness and marks were given on the evaluation process. Darjeeling zoo was given the highest percentage of 83, the zoo director added.
The Darjeeling zoo was established on August 14, 1958. The zoological park is internationally recognised for its breeding and conservation programmes of endangered animal species of the eastern Himalayas, including the Snow Leopard and the Red Panda.