Animal adoption in Vandalur zoo regaining popularity

Chennai, June 13 (IANS): The animal adoption programme at the Arignar Anna Zoological Park popularly known as Vandalur Zoo is regaining its popularity amongst animal lovers, officials said Friday.

"The zoo's `Be with the Keeper' programme is also attracting animal lovers," an official told IANS.

The official also said that the zoo earned an income of around Rs.580,000 last fiscal - up from Rs.400,000 earned the previous year.

The programme, which started in 2009-10, saw its highest revenue of around Rs.1.5 million in 2011-12.

Zoo officials said they are not actively campaigning for the animal adoption programme.

An official said: "People prefer adopting carnivorous animals and the favourite is white tiger and lion."

Many colleges and schools have donated under the animal adoption programme.

Recently city based real estate developer Golden Homes adopted a white tigress named Chandra. Citing the zoo authorities, an official said the company is the first corporate to adopt a tiger.

Tamil movie actors like Surya and Karthik have adopted a lion and white tiger respectively while actress Kanaka has adopted a wide range of animals.

He said the per day feed and maintenance cost of each animal has been calculated and animal adopters pay for any number of days.

According to him the per day cost for a lion and tiger is around Rs.712. Interestingly the costliest animal to maintain is the calf elephant at Rs.998 owning to its special feed and medicines. The adult elephant would cost per day Rs.542.

Speaking about the `Be with the Keeper' programme the zoo official said on payment of Rs.1,000 a person can be with the animal and its attender for a day and learn about the animal's behaviour.

He said initially the programme was launched in the case of bird enclosure.


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