Visitors can adopt animals at
Bhopal's Van Vihar National Park. A board is put outside the
enclosure with the name of the sponsor.
They are not high-profile celebrities, but at least 33 wildlife
lovers have adopted animals at the Van Vihar National Park here
under their unique guardianship scheme.
It made big news when Indian cricket captain Dhoni and pace bowler
Zaheer Khan recently adopted a tiger each in the Mysore Zoo.
The message caught others with similar love for environment and
Among these lovers of the wild are those who adopted the animals
with their first salary or on their birthdays or marriage
anniversaries. There are also those from outside Madhya Pradesh
who adopted animals in the Van Vihar park.
It was in January 2009 that Van Vihar launched a scheme for the
public to adopt zoo animals and thus help the park provide the
best facilities to its animal population. Under the scheme, tiger,
lion, panther, bear, crocodile and python among other animals have
found new "guardians".
The person or the organisation adopting an animal will only have
to bear the expenses of its feeding and upkeep on annual, six
monthly or monthly basis.
The name of the person who adopts an animal has been put up in
front of its enclosure. During the adoption period, the name and
the amount of the contributor are displayed at both the entry
gates of Van Vihar.
However, there were no headlines screaming when Abhinita Das Gupta
and a few others in Madhya Pradesh first used the scheme and
adopted a python.
"While studying law, when I got my first salary from the intern
works, I decided to adopt a python. I had adopted it for a month.
I could not do it for a second month as someone else had already
adopted it," Abhinita told IANS.
"But, in this short time, the python become my friend and I always
visit Van Vihar to meet him," she adds.
For Gulrej Ahmad, the relation with his adopted tigress has become
He adopted a tigress, Era, Jan 23, 2009, for three months.
"When I was visiting Van Vihar, I saw Era and decided to adopt
her. It died later and the news shocked me. I still go there often
to visit the cage where Era used to live," Ahmad said.
The couple Pushpendra and Sandhya Jain have been regularly
adopting Van Vihar animals for the last three years as part of
their wedding anniversary celebration Feb 24.
"That's part of our celebration. We have adopted a female panther
(Katrina), python and bear," says Sandhya.
She says she is also planning to adopt the animals on other
occasions like birthday and some other happy occasions.
Anil Kumar, a resident of Kolhapur in Maharashtra, whose in-laws
lived in Bhopal, adopted a crocodile on the day his son was born
on Feb 25, 2009.
Van Vihar's scheme has raised the awareness about supporting
wildlife. The novelty of the adoption scheme has caught the fancy
of animal lovers.
"Since the scheme was launched several people have adopted
wildlife animals in Van Vihar. And now as news comes about
celebrities doing it, more people would come forward," J.S.
Chouhan, director of the Van Vihar National Park, told IANS.
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