Sandeep Patil adopts female leopard at Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Updated: Nov 01, 2019, 07:57 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav | Mumbai

Former cricketer Sandeep Patil adopts female leopard Tara at SGNP and will work to promote the rich biodiversity in the park

Sandeep Patil receives certificate of animal adoption from SGNP Director Anwar Ahmed
Sandeep Patil receives certificate of animal adoption from SGNP Director Anwar Ahmed

Renowned cricketer Sandeep Patil was caught and bowled on another pitch on Thursday, when he adopted a leopard at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP). The batsman, who enthralled many with his achievements on the cricket field, is also a wildlife lover and frequent visitor to many tiger reserves and sanctuaries in India and abroad. He will work with SGNP to promote the rich biodiversity of the park, which according to him is the ninth wonder of the world.

Talking to mid-day, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (APCCF) Wildlife Sunil Limaye said, "Not many people are aware that Patil is an avid wildlife lover and has been working for wildlife conservation in India and Africa too. It is indeed a pleasure for SGNP to associate with the legendary cricketer who has expressed his interest to work with the forest department for wildlife conservation."

Regular visitor
Patil has been a visitor to SGNP from his childhood along with his family. On Thursday he adopted a 1.8-year-old female leopard named Tara through the Animal Adoption Programme of SGNP. Patil said, "I am joining them as an Honorary Forest Officer in order to promote activities in SGNP for wildlife conservation. Mumbai's SGNP is the best place to work and for me it's the ninth wonder of the world. As a start I have adopted a 1.8 year old captive female leopard named Tara which is very friendly. I have adopted a leopard not because I have money but I want people to come forward to conserve wildlife. Adopting these animals will help create awareness among people."

To conserve wildlife
"From my school days I have been visiting SGNP which was not a national park then. With my cousins I used to go to Tulsi lake, Vihar lake and Powai lake. I love wildlife and wanted to do something for it. I thank Forest Secretary Vikas Kharge and APCCF Wildlife Limaye for taking me along with them. I had a good discussion with SGNP Field Director Anwar Ahmed too on Thursday and we will work together to promote SGNP and wildlife," added Patil.

During his tenure as coach of the Kenya Cricket team, Patil used to take part in forest patrolling inside Nairobi National Park with the staff. Not many will be aware that for the past seven years, Patil has been running a tournament, the Tiger Cup in Bangalore, to collect funds that are given to various NGOs working for wildlife conservation.

You, too, can adopt an animal at SGNP

The cost of maintaining the leopard (including food and medicines etc) is R1,20,000 per year. The name of the person adopting the animal is put up outside its enclosure. The person can see the animal for upto three times a month.

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