Animal adoption fees in zoos hiked after 9 years

Animals and birds in diamond, gold, silver, and bronze classes can be adopted

The animal adoption fee in zoos across the State has been hiked and the revised fees will come into effect from January 1.

A decision in this regard was taken at the 149th board meeting of the Zoo Authority of Karnataka (ZAK), which controls the zoos in the State.

The fees have been hiked based on the maintenance costs while the animals and birds have been classified species-wise in 13 groups to help animal lovers adopt them under the animal adoption scheme which was first introduced in Mysuru zoo and later expanded to other zoos in the State. The scheme is hugely popular in Mysuru zoo and it came as a savior to the zoo post-pandemic when the zoo was in serious financial crisis with footfall falling drastically post-lockdown.

Justifying the hike in adoption fee, the authority, in a note here, said the fee was last increased in 2012 though the maintenance costs of animals and birds are rising every year. “Unavoidably, the fee had to be revised and accordingly the new fees will come into effect from January 1,” said the ZAK Member Secretary and Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest B.P. Ravi.

The decision on hiking the fees was taken at the board meeting after an elaborate discussion. The meeting also decided to spread awareness on conservation among the general public through the zoos.

Various classes

The species have been categorized in diamond class, gold class, silver class, and bronze class. The adoption is possible for a sum of ₹1,000 to ₹3,00,000 per annum.

In the diamond class, elephants, gorilla, lion, tiger, giraffe, orangutan, chimpanzee, Indian rhinoceros, hippopotamus, zebra, and African hunting cheetah have been included. In this category, the adoption fee ranges from ₹75,000 to ₹3,00,000 for a period of one year. The highest adoption fee is for Asiatic and African elephants besides gorilla, whose adoption costs ₹3 lakh per annum.

In the gold class, black panther, Indian leopard, sloth bear, Asiatic black bear, gaur, jaguar, cape buffalo are included and their adoption costs ₹50,000 per annum. In the same class, the adoption of Indian fox, golden jackal, Indian grey wolf, striped hyena, dhole, lion-tailed macaque, common langur, Nilgiri langur and hamadryas baboon costs ₹30,000 per annum . Likewise, other animals included in the gold class whose adoption fee ranges between ₹20,000 and ₹25,000.

In the silver class, the adoption fee ranges from ₹10,000 to ₹15,000 and the animal and birds included under this class are swamp deer, scarlet macaw, slender Loris, hog deer, black swan, Sarus crane, saltwater crocodile, Nile crocodile, leopard cat, great Indian hornbill and others.

The adoption fee ranges from ₹1,000 to ₹5,000 in bronze class which mostly comprises different species of birds, including gray jungle fowl, peacock, silver pheasant, snakes like python, ducks, parrots and others. Budgerigar, lovebird, cockatiel, red avadavat, finch, white throated munia can be adopted for a sum of ₹1,000 for a period of one year.

Mobile application

The ZAK launched a mobile app post-lockdown last year to deal with the crisis faced by the zoos following the steep fall in revenue. It was launched to help interested persons contribute any amount starting from ₹50 to the zoos of their choice.

The ZAK said it will acknowledge any contribution from the public. The mobile app was a step towards making contributions to the zoos simple.

Last year

The ZAK managed to mobilize a donation of ₹4.25 crore for all nine zoos last year. A video featuring actor Darshan Thoogudeepa with an appeal to support the zoos of Karnataka that are badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic received huge response from fans and others.

The closure of zoos due to lockdown last year and also this year resulted in zero revenue. All zoos, including Mysuru zoo and Bannerghatta Biological Park and smaller ones in Gadag Belagavi and other places, needed about ₹15 lakh to ₹20 lakh daily for their maintenance. The annual maintenance of the zoos comes up to ₹60 crore.

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