Lahore Zoo was somewhere started in 1860s in the form of menagerie and properly established as a zoo with addition of aviary donated by Lala Mela Ram in 1872, hence one of the oldest zoos in the world. It remained under the management of Lahore Municipal Committee from 1872 to 1921. Thereafter, its control was transferred to Deputy Commissioner and Commissioner, Lahore and was managed through a Zoo Advisory Committee until 1962. Then its management was placed with West Pakistan Agriculture Department and afterwards with the Livestock and Dairy Development Department. Finally the management of Lahore Zoo was entrusted to the Wildlife & Parks Department in 1982 and is presently governed by Zoo Management Committee (ZMC) of Lahore Zoo constituted under Punjab Zoos & Safari Parks Rules 2012.
Since its transfer to Wildlife Department in 1982, a number of major changes in housing the exhibits, layout of buildings, landscape pattern, administration etc were took place. With these initiative/development it become a self-financed organization meeting all its expenditures from its own resources. It is located in the heart of the city and is easily accessible to the people belonging to all walks of life and annual turnover of visitors is about 4.5 million.
Presently, Lahore Zoo houses about 1200 animals of 120 species, including a number of primates, big cats, deer, antelope, ratites, reptiles and birds. Lahore Zoo can boast of a collage of old and young trees; 900 trees of 60 species make the environment worth living and visiting; a complete ecosystem with at least 30 wild birds species at one time and about 100 species during the year besides the small mammals, reptiles, amphibians and the invertebrates; unique in Lahore.