Today, with a renewed emphasis on environmental protection, forest development has, like many other matters of ecological significance, become a focal point of activity. Forests were greatly valued in ancient India. Everyday life was closely connected with nature; kings protected forests and ascetics retired to them for peaceful meditation in their quest for salvation (moksha).

Emperor Chandragupta Maurya, as early as the 3rd Century BC, had forests classified as those used for religious purposes and others to be exploited commercially. He also allotted some forest areas for hunting. Forest offenses and careless deforestation were punishable by death. During Emperor Ashoka's reign (3rd Century BC), several species of trees were identified for protection. The abundant evidence of natural forms in the Indian art of this period reflects a great affinity with nature. Alexander is said to have used Indian timber for building ships in the 4th Century BC

For many centuries Indian wood was exported to Persia and Arabia, but this commercial activity was on a very small scale compared to the immensity of India's then forest resources and had no noticeable effect on the extent of forest cover. Hundreds of years later, in Mughal times, there was a great deal of hunting in the forests of North India. Nevertheless, although the Mughals had no positive interest in conserving forests, they did not harm or denude them.

At the turn of the 19th Century, however, the British developed a keen interest in the valuable woods of the Indian jungle. Some of the ships in Nelson's fleet at Trafalgar had been built by the famous Bombay shipbuilders, the Wadias, teak replacing the English oak. Trees yielding prized wood like sandalwood, rosewood, satinwood and ebony were felled for commercial purposes, doing great damage to India's forest wealth. Despite steps taken by the British in the early 19th Century to regenerate forests, in the long run they encouraged agriculture at the expense of forests rather than as complementary to them. This shortsighted policy did immense damage.

Since independence, the Indian Government's New Action Plan for Forestry has declared 33.33 percent of the whole land area of the country (60 percent on the hills and 20 percent in the plains) as reserved for forests. However, this has not prevented further extensive encroachments on India's forest cover (now less than 9 percent in India) and unless firm and effective action is taken soon, the future does seem grim indeed.

The zoo park is situated in a reserved forest area and many different kinds of trees and plants can be found in and around the zoo. The zoo is doing its part in the conservation and development of the forest area by protecting the existing flora and by planting new saplings . The following is a list of some of the important varieties of flora found in the zoo area.