Forest department initiate ‘Adopt the wild’ scheme at Sajjangarh Biological Park
Udaipur : A piece of good news for animal lovers, the wild creatures are now available for adoption here. Bengal Tiger, Asiatic lions, Ostriches, Alligators, Himalayan Bears, Parakeets and many other species of birds and animals of one’s choice awaits adoption at the ready-for-inauguration Sajjangarh Biological Park. The Forest department has initiated ‘ Adopt the wild’ scheme here and has received encouraging responses from organizations and corporates already. Though strangely, more people, including big companies have expressed inclination to ‘pet’ herbivorous animals rather than meat eating ones, out of religious reservations. Even individuals can apply for the adoption scheme which attract a rebate from the Income Tax department, foresters said.
“ Adoption scheme is initiated with basic intention of involving general public in the conservation of endangered animals, birds, reptiles etc., where any individual, philanthropists, institutions, corporates etc can adopt any animal by way of contributing the feed cost of the individual animal including its annual maintenance and veterinary health care” said Rahul Bhatnagar, the chief conservator of forest (wild life). There is a provision for IT rebate under 80G for such animal adoption or contribution made towards the development. At the newly built Sajjangarh Biological Park, 59 animals have been released so far in the 21 enclosures for specific varieties. Two pairs of Hybrid lions, three panthers, an Ostrich pair, Himalayan bears, Hyenna, Rhesus Macaque, Alligators and large numbers of deers, bucks and antelopes would be seen roaming in their natural habitat once the park is officially inaugurated. The foster persons would receive some privilages too in return for their kindness. Display of their name in front of the adopted animal enclosure, official certificate of adoption, complimentary passes to visit the zoo etc could be the rewards according to the level of contribution one agrees to pay under the adoption scheme.
“22 lakh rupees annually is required to meet out the food expenses of the animals here. Ten kilos of meat is required per day per wild animal like the lions and tigers. Besides food, there are health and medical expenses to be met” said Dr. T. MohanRaj, the deputy conservator. Though people have been donating money for the wild animals through the zoo development trust headed by the Divisional Commissioner, the adoption scheme is expected to gain more popularity among the common since they would feel some pride in the owing relation. The budget crunched department also expects a rise in revenue collection, once the park is open for the public. “ Nominal fee of rs 30 per person will be the entry fee here while Rs 300 will be charged from foreigners” Sohail Majboor, the DCF said.