Bengaluru: The Bannerghatta Biological Park's (BBP) adoption programme launched during the COVID-19 lockdown period appears to be a hit with 95 animals being adopted by 79 wildlife conservation enthusiasts donating more than Rs 15.5 lakh. For the first time in BBP's history, a giraffe has also been adopted. One-and-half-year-old giraffe, Yadunandan, was adopted by Wing Commander G B Athri (Retd) by donating Rs one lakh. This giraffe was last month gifted to BBP by Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Garden, Mysuru, where it was born, BBP Executive Director Vanashree Vipin Singh said on Wednesday. "95 animals have so far been adopted by 79 people donating Rs 15,50,500," she said. Patrons have adopted animals such as elephant, tiger, tigress, leopard and zebra at the BBP, a unit of the Zoo Authority of Karnataka. Housing 2,279 animals of 101 different species, the government-run BBP, spread over 731.88 hectares, has a zoo, safari, butterfly park and rescue centre. Three weeks ago, the BBP released a list of animals that can be adopted at the zoo as part of its programme for people with an interest in conserving wildlife. Patrons can adopt an Indian cobra for as low as Rs 2,000 per annum or an Asiatic elephant for Rs 1.75 lakh. They can adopt a King cobra and Indian rock python for Rs 3,500 per year, or a jungle cat and Assamese Macaque for Rs 5,000. Adoption of a black buck and sambar will cost Rs 7,500 per year, an Emu is billed at Rs 10,000, and a spot- billed Pelican Rs 15,000, among others. Certain privileges such as a gift voucher for a zoo visit and the display of names on an adoption board would be extended, depending upon the adoption amount. "The animal adoption programme is an opportunity for you to get involved in supporting feed and veterinary care expenses for zoo animals with provision for Income Tax rebate under 80G," say zoo officials. "The purpose of the adoption programme is to create awareness and connect with people involved in conservation activities, not just generating revenues," Vanashree told PTI. "We don't run this programme with a profit motive." The animal adoption initiative is part of BBP's outreach programme as people are not able to visit the zoo due to the lockdown. In other times, visitors can sign up to adopt animals.
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