September 17, 2010
The Vandalur Zoo authorities were able to generate nearly Rs. 8.20 lakh in the last one-and-half-months through the animal adoption programme.
Talking to The Hindu K.S.S.V.P. Reddy, Chief Conservator of Forests and Zoo Director, said there was renewed enthusiasm about the programme after the adoption of a tiger by Rotaract Club of A.M. Jain College and the members adopted the big cat for a day by paying Rs. 393.25. Then one by one the animals were adopted by individuals.
In the first week of this month, the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC) adopted three white tiger cubs by paying Rs. 3.78 lakh for a period of one year. The latest in the line was the adoption of an elephant, a leopard and a tiger by Velammal Schools. The school authorities on Thursday paid Rs. 3.22 lakh for adopting the three flagship species for a period of one year.
Mr. Reddy said the amount would be spent only to feed the animals. The zoo authorities have fixed amount for adopting different animals. They have worked out the feed expenses for each animal per day which would be – a lion or a tiger Rs. 393.25; for Asian elephant Rs. 267.65; birds (regular) Rs.15 and migratory birds Rs.18.
Actually the programme was launched last year when a person gave Rs. 300 and adopted an animal for a day. But, after that the programme did not evoke the expected response. Again in August this year the authorities put in extra efforts to popularise the programme, which evoked tremendous response from the people.
The idea of Animal Adoption programme is to create awareness among people and to develop compassion and bonding between the human beings and wildlife, Mr. Reddy said. The idea is certainly not to generate funds, he said.