NEW DELHI: Ever thought of naming or owning an Asiatic Lion, Royal Bengal Tiger, African Elephant or even a Rock Python? Here is the chance to do so.
Zoos across India are being thrown open to animal lovers to adopt animals of their choice, name them and get a chance to have a plaque with their name inscribed in golden letters being put outside enclosures of the zoo inmates.
The animal adoption scheme is prevalent abroad and in some zoos in India, but now it is getting a big push from Prakash Javadekar-led Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) asking nearly 200 zoos across the country to look at adoption as a source of generating extra revenue and bringing more people, especially youngsters, closer to nature and working for animal conservation.
People can support an animal for a day, week, month, year or even a lifetime and charges have to be fixed by specific zoos based on the upkeep of individual animals. It could range from `100 for feeding lush green grass to a beautiful pair of spotted deer for breakfast, lunch or dinner to Rs 1-3 lakh for adopting a tiger for a year. Zoos have been asked by the MoEF to come out with the modalities and rates of animals out for adoption. According to zoo officials, big animals like tiger, lion, elephant and giraffe remain star attractions but for that, people would have to loosen their pockets. While colourful birds like parakeets, peacock, and animals like deer and monkeys come at humble rates. It all depends on what fascinates the animal lovers.
The renewed adoption scheme comes as a part of the new public-private-partnership policy in zoos being floated by the MoEF.