Now we know it costs Rs 90,000 a year to keep a tiger in captivity.That is how much our chief minster Mr B S Yeddyurappa paid for the upkeep of a Bengal tiger in the Mysore zoo.His gesture made headlines; and the zoo authorities got publicity mileage for their animal adoption scheme.
Anyone could adopt a peacock for Rs.3,000. A chimp costs Rs 65,000 a year. Elephant is the most expensive animal for adoption – Rs.1.5 lakhs. The zoo authorities are reported to have raised Rs.5 lakhs this year under the scheme.They may have reason to gloat over such collection. Snag is that elitist species in the zoo – tiger, chimp, gorilla, King cobra – get adopted, while the lesser beings – crocs,bison,rhino or a deer – appear to have no takers. Goes to create a class system in the animal kingdom, doesn’t it ?
The authorities could consider inviting donars who could help improve amenities – benches for vistors, trash cans, recreation enclosures, landscape sculptures, strollers. Tree-lovers could be invited to plant fruit-bearing trees.
One of these trees was planted by veteran journalist Krishna Vattam in the 80s. Revisiting the spot recently Mr Vattam wrote, “I informed my old friend, zoo manager Shivanna, about my desire to locate my ‘sapling’. He welcomed the idea, but he was not sure if it had survived. A pleasant surprise…What I had planted has grown to be a big tree,…I stood there gazing …in sheer joy. As I shared my thoughts an accompanying Karanji official Nagaraj mentioned that the tree yielded delicious badami. He added that they do not pluck the mangoes,but leave them on the tree for birds and monkeys. A noble idea.”
Visitors with babies would be thankful to the zoo management, if they could arrange for strollers on hire. One could donate park benches to be located at various spots.
Amusement area would be a welcome feature that could make the zoo more child-friendly.
Such attractve sign-board to an enclosure could be a gift from a landscape sculptor.