The Telegraph
Monday , July 16 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Adopt-animal spree before scheme gets roaring

- Proposals pour in ahead of July 20 launch, big cats and giraffes most sought after

The proposed animal adoption scheme of Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park seems poised for a success even before its official launch.

Big organisations, including public sector giants and government departments, have evinced interest in adopting certain animals under the scheme, which is slated for launch on July 20.

Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park director Abhay Kumar said: “We are receiving great response for our scheme within a very short time. As many as five big organisations such as Life Insurance Corporation of India, State Bank of India, Bihar State Milk Co-operative Federation (Comfed), Bank of Baroda, besides Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam Limited and the environment and forests department have approached us, expressing interest in adopting animals. I think this is the platform where love and affection between human and wild animals can be justified. However, no individual has approached us in this regard yet.”

Kumar added: “Once the scheme is officially launched, many people will get to know about it. Pamphlets and posters are being distributed to the public.”

On which animals’ adoptions are high in demand, Kumar said: “Lions, tigers and giraffe are most in demand. But the zoo management has not yet finalised on who would get what. We would take the call once deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi launches the scheme, tentatively on July 20.”

Under the animal adoption scheme, individuals or families can adopt animals from six months to one year, while commercial firms can adopt animals from one to five years.

The enclosures can also be adopted for one to three years and the entire zoo at Rs 25,000 for a day.

Elucidating the scheme, Kumar said: “The adopter will not be allowed to touch the animals, cannot intervene in management operations such as deciding the animals’ diet and cannot enter the enclosure.”

Patna zoo is one of the 21 large zoological gardens in the country and the only one in the state. There are almost 1,200 animals and birds in the park, which is spread over 153 acres.

On the privileges to be offered to the adopter, Kumar said: “The adopter would be treated as a special guest and be given free entry passes. Their names would be prominently displayed on enclosures. They would get certificates of animal adoption from the zoo and would be allowed to use the zoo premises to host any event and show. We spend lot of money on the upkeep of animals and birds. This scheme would help us finance their food and medicines.”

The adoption scheme is also practised in Jharkhand, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh.