CHENNAI: This builder has moved from Jags to slightly wilder cats. Balsingh George, a builder who is usually in the news for his vast fleet of high-end cars, has decided to sponsor a white tigress called Chandra after discussing it with the officials at the Arignar Anna Zoo. “Based on the feedback and success of this initiative we want to reach out to bigger tiger reserves like Bandipur and Ranthambore national parks. If everything goes well, we will get into tiger and lion conservation in a better and bigger way than now,” he said.
George, who got this idea when he was watching a wildlife channel, said that he has pledged `2.2 lakhs per year for conserving tigers and intends to increase the expenditure on tiger conservation to as much as `15 lakh, later in the year. The funds will be utilized towards the feeding costs for the tigress.
A few years back, popular actor Karthi Sivakumar had adopted a white tigress from the zoo. Apart from celebrities, institutions like Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC), State Bank of India (Chennai Chapter) and Vellamal schools have been part of the ‘Adopt An Animal’ program of the zoo. Recently, Chief Minister J Jayalalitha had christened five tiger cubs at the zoo.
There are three white tigers and six white tigresses in the Vandalur Zoo. A total of 61 individuals, private companies and public sector banks have taken part in the animal adoption program.