Bengaluru, May 9 (IANS) Seven animal lovers, including a city politician, have donated a total of Rs 6.45 lakh to adopt eight animals at the Bengaluru Zoo, an official said on Saturday.
“M. Krishnappa, MLA, Bengaluru South, adopted an elephant, Nisargha, and a tigress, Hima, by paying Rs 2.75 lakh,” Bengaluru Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBBP) Executive Director Vanashree Vipin Singh told IANS. Vipin
The MLA visited the zoo on Saturday to support the ex-situ conservation of animals, while six more enthusiasts also came forward to do the same.
Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Gottigere corporator T. Narayana and Lalitha paid Rs 1 lakh to adopt a tiger, Rajendra.
M. C. Raju from Jigani adopted a tiger, Gokul, by paying Rs 1 lakh. M. Jayaram and M. Subramani from Chunchughatta adopted a leopard apiece, Lokesh and Ashoka, by paying Rs 35,000 each.
Sardar Sheryar Khan adopted 6-month-old tiger Sanjay by paying Rs 50,000 while K. Somshekar from Anjanapur adopted a zebra for the same amount.
“We are grateful to these donors for joining hands to support ex-situ conservation at the BBBP and for speaking for those without a voice,” said Vipin Singh.
Ex-situ conservation of animals involves maintaining and breeding animals away from their native habitats, such as zoo or other similar settings.
In all, four tigers, one elephant, two leopards and a zebra were adopted on Saturday.
BBBP is a unit of Zoo Authority of Karnataka (ZAK) and one of the few places where wilderness is preserved in the vicinity of a city like Bengaluru.
The biological park has four units — a zoo, a safari, a butterfly park and a rescue centre — occupying 732 hectares of land and accommodating 2,279 animals.
In 2019-20, the BBBP incurred an expenditure of Rs 38 crore on fodder and food, veterinary care, salary of animal keepers, maintenance and developmental works.
“Of late, several organisations have expressed their interest to contribute under social responsibility in the form of donations, animal adoptions, implementation of development works such as construction of animal enclosures, road networks and visitor facilities,” said Singh.
According to Singh, last week 36 people adopted 43 animals donating Rs 5.3 lakh.
“About 80 enquiries have been made from all parts of the country and also abroad. Replies and details have been sent to them; there will be further adoption during the next week,” added Singh.
In 2019-20, 64 adopters donated Rs 7 lakh.
Incidentally, Karnataka zoos are witnessing good number of adoptions, considering that the Mysuru zoo has pioneered the concept of animal adoption in India.
Including donations and fundraising, Mysuru district in-charge minister S.T. Somasekhara Gowda has already handed over Rs 2.32 crore to the Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens in Mysuru.
“Gowda has raised the highest amount of donation for the Zoo in its 127-year history,” Mysuru Zoo Executive Director Ajit Kulkarni told IANS.
Besides adoptions, Singh said that donations also receive income tax exemption under Section 80 G of IT Act.