The Nandankanan Zoological Park (NZP) in Bhubaneswar, which suffered a huge loss following its closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has revived its innovative ‘Adopt-An-Animal’ programme to mobilise resources for animals.
The NZP is one of the leading zoos in the country in terms of its fauna population and species diversity. It had received a record 32 lakh footfall three years ago.
With resources drying up due to the closure for more than six months, the NZP authorities revived the ‘Adopt-An-Animal’ programme.
“We have received encouraging response from animal lovers. More than 100 organisations and individuals have come forward to adopt animals, pledging ₹22 lakh ,” NZP Deputy Director Bimala Prasanna Acharya said.
When one adopts an animal or a bird, the contribution goes to its care, feeding, enclosure enrichment and renovation.
The adoption scheme would bring public, corporate bodies and institutions closer to the zoo and heighten their love and passion for captive animals and birds, the authorities said.
“The NZP earns in the range of ₹15 crore-₹17 crore from entry passes and outsourcing of boating and parking facilities every year. With a minimum of ₹50 lakh required per month for the upkeep of animals, the zoo faced huge hardships due to the loss of revenue following the closure,” Mr. Acharya said.
Though the Odisha government had stepped in to provide funds for feed and medicines, critical gap persisted in other bare minimum necessities, he said.
The zoo authorities came up with the scheme urging animal lovers to provide funds from ₹500 to ₹2.5 lakh. In lieu, a ‘Thank You’ in the form of an adoption certificate, a plaque in the zoo and income tax rebates are available to individuals and organisations.
They are hopeful that ₹1 crore can be generated through adoption. The highest of ₹2.5 lakh per annum has been fixed to adopt an elephant, while ₹1.5 lakh is required for a melanistic tiger.
Similarly, people can adopt the Asiatic lion and the Royal Bengal Tiger for ₹1 lakh per annum.