An animal-loving former Indian Air Force officer has donated Rs 1 lakh to adopt the first giraffe in Bengaluru Zoo, an official said on Wednesday.
“Wing Commander G. B. Athri (retired) has come forward to support our efforts in ex-situ conservation by adopting giraffe Yadhunandan by donating Rs 1 lakh,” Bengaluru Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBBP) Executive Director Vanashree Vipin Singh said.
One and a half-year-old Yadhunandan was born to Krishnaraja and Babbly in the Mysuru Zoo.
On April 24, the Mysuru Zoo, Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Garden, had gifted the young Yadhunandan to Bengaluru Zoo.
“We are grateful to Athri for being the first animal adopter of a giraffe in the history of BBBP and for joining hands to support ex-situ conservation,” said Singh.
Ex-situ conservation of animals involves maintaining and breeding animals away from their native habitats, such as a zoo or other similar settings.
Incidentally, Karnataka zoos are witnessing a good number of adoptions, considering that the Mysuru zoo has pioneered the concept of animal adoption in India.
According to Singh, 79 fauna lovers adopted 95 animals in the Bengaluru Zoo in a space of 20 days, excluding one or two earlier adoptions.
“Ninety five animals have been adopted by 79 people who donated Rs 15.5 lakhs. To be precise, in the last 20 days, except for one or two adoptions,” she said.
Besides adoptions, Singh said donations also receive income tax exemption under Section 80 G of IT Act.
BBBP is a unit of Zoo Authority of Karnataka and one of the few places where wilderness is preserved in the vicinity of a city like Bengaluru.
The biological park has four units — a zoo, a safari, a butterfly park and a rescue centre — occupying 732 hectares of land and accommodating 2,279 animals.
The zoo is nestled in the forests of Champakadhama Hills inside Bannerghatta National Park.
In 2019-20, the BBBP incurred an expenditure of Rs 38 crore on fodder and food, veterinary care, the salary of animal keepers, maintenance and developmental works.