Wildlife enthusiasts contribute over Rs one crore to cash-strapped Bengaluru zoo


Team Udayavani, Jun 17, 2021, 10:48 AM IST

Bengaluru: Wildlife enthusiasts in big numbers have contributed more than Rs one crore to the Bengaluru zoo facing financial crunch due to dip in footfall owing to the COVID-19-induced lockdown.

Officials at the zoo — Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) — said on Wednesday the park has received immense support from citizens from and outside Bengaluru during this difficult period.

BBP Executive Director R Gokul said from April 2021 to June 15, as many as 2,535 people have contributed nearly Rs 1.17 crore towards animal adoption, donation and one-day feeding cost.

“This fund will be utilised for feed and veterinary care of zoo animals,” he said.

The BBP has four different units — Zoo, Safari, Butterfly Park and Rescue Centre– within an area of 731.88 Hectares.

BBP is a self-sustained organisation run only by gate revenue; it has also adopted a few mini zoos of Karnataka.

“COVID-19 pandemic has played a great disaster on the zoo where the footfall has come down drastically, which has impacted the zoo revenue,” Gokul, also Chief Conservator of Forests, Bengaluru, had said earlier.

In spite of this, the zoo is taking care of 2388 animals belonging to 102 different species, he had said.

BBP is also providing an opportunity to name young animals.

Citizens can also contribute towards one day feeding cost of some of the zoo residents, Gokul said.

Daily feeding cost of an Asian Elephant, for example, works out to Rs 3,000 a day and the zoo has 25 of them.

There is a provision for income tax rebate under 80G for animal adoption/donation, it was noted.

The BBP had also launched an animal adoption programme during the COVID-19-induced lockdown last year.

Speaking to PTI, a BBP officials said: “As many as 260 animals were adopted by 213 people in financial year 2020-21 and a sum of Rs 34,94,750 has been raised through this initiative.”

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