Animal adoption may not have been a trend with nature lovers in Odisha - unlike in Karnataka where iconic cricketers like Rahul Dravid have adopted cheetahs from the Mysore Zoo - but it is catching up nonetheless. On Sunday, a tigress of Nandankanan Zoological Park was taken up for adoption by a private firm.
Rebati, a normal coloured Royal Bengal tigress of 12 years, was adopted by Confidence Factory, a City-based personality development company.
The one time annual fee of ` 1 lakh was paid in favour of the Director of Nandankanan Zoological Park by the firm’s promoter. This is the first tiger adoption in the current year. Earlier, IDBI had adopted an elephant paying an annual fee of Rs 2.15 lakh. Similarly, an individual adopted 10 parrots by paying ` 10,000. Earlier tigers, exotic birds and small animals have been adopted by individuals as well as some corporate houses but the rate of adoption has been slow in the State although it comes with certain benefits and fanfare.
Those who adopt animals get a signboard in front of the enclosure indicating his (or the organisation’s) name. Besides complimentary passes for a year, invitation to all in-house programmes of the Zoo come as freebies. Tax benefits are available for animal adoption.
The animal adoption scheme was launched by the Zoo in 2008 in keeping with the trend of changing zoo management practices across the world as it promotes overall development of animal parks and its inmates.
“Financial gains come later but we have been encouraging people to take up adoption mostly because it helps understanding of the wildlife and the need for conservation for the next generation,” Director Sudarshan Panda said.