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Want to adopt a tiger? Delhi Zoo to launch scheme soon

Joydeep Thakur, Hindustan Times
New Delhi
11 Jul 2017

A tiger at the National Zoological Park in Delhi.(Burhaan Kinu/HT FILE)
A tiger at the National Zoological Park in Delhi.(Burhaan Kinu/HT FILE)

, 11th July, 2017

It is a scheme where a citizen can choose an animal and ‘adopt’ it after paying a sum fixed by the zoo authorities. The money is usually spent by the zoo to buy food, medicines and to meet other expenses of the animal.

The National Zoological Park in New Delhi is exploring options to launch an animal adoption scheme for its inmates.

The suggestion had come from the Union environment and forest minister, Harsh Vardhan, a few weeks ago. Several zoos across India have already launched the scheme where a citizen or a corporate firm can adopt an animal.

“We are exploring various options to start an animal adoption scheme at the Delhi Zoo. We would launch the scheme once we finalise the modalities,” Renu Singh, director of the National Zoological Park told HT.

It is a scheme where a citizen can choose an animal and ‘adopt’ it after paying a sum fixed by the zoo authorities. The money is usually spent by the zoo to buy food, medicines and to meet other expenses of the animal.

In return, the person’s name is displayed on the cage, gets an adoption certificate and free entry to the zoo for a year, among other facilities. Also, the adopter can celebrate birthdays of the animals in the zoo and in some cases he also gets exemption from Income-Tax under section 80 (G) of the Income-Tax Act.

Although the scheme is for all animals in the zoo, sources said that usually the scheme is for large animals like tigers, lions and elephants, which require maximum expenditure. In Kolkata, one has to shell out ?2 lakh to adopt a tiger for a year. Birds cost the minimum.

“But there is a difference between the Delhi zoo and other zoos in the country. While the Delhi Zoo is the only zoo in the country which is directly run by the Union ministry, others are managed by the respective state governments. Most of the other zoos which have launched adoption schemes are registered societies and can accept money in the adoption scheme. We can’t,” said Singh.

Zoo authorities are now studying the adoption schemes launched by various Indian and foreign zoos to find a way in which it could launch a scheme.

“It won’t be like other zoos as we can’t accept money directly. For that we have to register the zoo as a society which would be a long and cumbersome process. So we are planning it differently and that is why we are exploring options,” she added.

Several zoos in India such as the Lucknow Zoo, Patna Zoo, Alipore Zoo in Kolkata, Mysore Zoo and Nandankanan in Odisha have already launched such initiatives.

“Even though the contribution we receive is just a token amount of what we spend against each animal, the main objective is the bond that citizens develop with the animals and the people’s participation,” said a senior official of the Alipore Zoo in Kolkata.

The Delhi Zoo is also in the process to start celebrating a birthday bash for its inmates. The first birthday party of a white Tiger named Vijay would be celebrated on July 21.