Agartala: Ever thought of adopting a tiger, a rhino or a crocodile? Here’s your chance to do that at a Tripura wildlife sanctuary and zoo. Anyone can adopt a wild animal by paying for its upkeep under a scheme to make people participate in the conservation of wildlife, specially the endangered, at the Sepahijala wildlife sanctuary and zoo, located 25 km south of state capital Agartala.
“Interested people and institutions may adopt an animal of their choice by contributing amounts ranging from Rs 5,020 to Rs 2,81,000 per year for its upkeep,” said Tripura’s Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Atul Kumar Gupta.
The idea is not novel, having been tried elsewhere in the country, but new in Tripura. Gupta, who is also the chief wildlife warden, said, “In return, the zoo and sanctuary authorities would offer certificates of adoption, complimentary passes to visit the zoo, publication of names in leading newspapers, besides income-tax exemptions on the amount contributed.”
The name of individual and the institutions would also be displayed at the enclosure of the adopted animal.
“We are trying to replicate the model of people’s participation in wildlife management followed in Mysore, Lucknow and Hyderabad zoos,” said Gupta. Gupta said the money collected through this adoption process would be spent on the upkeep and feeding of the animals. “Adoption of an animal is noble not only for an individual alone but for his family too. An adoption may make a great gift for birthdays, anniversaries for near and dear ones and is always unique. This shows one’s concern towards conservation of animals.”
Krishna Gopal Roy, another wildlife official, said that so far state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and an engineering student Mahashweta Saha (23) have adopted a Royal Bengal Tiger and a python respectively for six months. Another businessman adopted a Himalayan black bear for six months.
“My daughter Mahashweta always loved animals and environment,” said former Tripura minister Jawahar Saha.
Number of animals belonging to 55 different species at the Sepahijala zoo, which was set up in 1972
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>> Himalayan black bear