ZAK seeks govt. assistance, public help

The Zoo Authority of Karnataka (ZAK) has approached the State government for financial assistance to help meet the dietary requirements of the animals.

This is owing to the financial crunch faced by the zoos in the wake of the extended lockdown.

B.P. Ravi, Member Secretary, ZAK, said the monthly expenditure for maintaining the zoos at Mysuru, Bannerghatta, Shivamogga, Belagavi, Hampi, Gadag, Kalaburagi, Chitradurga and Davanagere is nearly ₹5.5 crore, covering the dietary requirements of the animals and the staff salary.

Though Mysuru zoo used to be self-sufficient because of the high visitor footfall and the resulting gate collection apart from revenue generated through animal adoption programmes, the same was not true with regard to other zoos.

Ajith Kulkarni, Executive Director, Mysuru zoo, said Mysuru zoo used to be funded by the government till 2002 after which it embarked on a path of self-financing schemes including the animal adoption programme.

Last year, when the zoo was closed during the first wave of the pandemic and tourism came to standstill, ₹4.5 crore was realised by way of animal adoption. The drive was launched by the district in-charge Minister S.T. Somashekar and it helped the zoo tide over the crunch situation.

Mr. Kulkarni said Mysuru zoo has 1,450 animals and birds drawn from almost 160 species.

Meanwhile, ZAK Chairman L.R. Mahadevaswamy has appealed to the public to pitch in by way of animal adoption or donation so as to help meet the cost of feeding the animals housed in the zoos in the State.

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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 5:10:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/zak-seeks-govt-assistance-public-help/article34515620.ece

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