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Animal adoption scheme a good idea

TreeTake is a monthly bilingual colour magazine on environment that is fully committed to serving Mother Nature with well researched, interactive and engaging articles and lots of interesting info.

Animal adoption scheme a good idea

Zoos play a crucial role in conservation education since many of us, especially young ones, and those who cannot afford to visit far-flung areas for jungle safari get a chance to see and know about both endemic and exotic wild animals...

Animal adoption scheme a good idea


We Asked: Do you think people must become responsible and adopt zoo animals? They can form groups and contribute together for one inmate. This way the financial burden will be distributed. Also share your ideas and the good that can come out of such initiatives.

I think it’s a good idea. More than contributing financially it will connect more and more people to know about wild animals and the importance of ex-situ conservation. Zoos play a crucial role in conservation education since many of us, especially young ones, and those who cannot afford to visit far-flung areas for jungle safari get a chance to see and know about both endemic and exotic wild animals. Adopting animals has twin objectives, connecting people to animals and appreciating their sense of compassion towards them and secondly instilling the value of wildlife conservation and getting the same spread over in society through them. Therefore, kids and their entire class can adopt the animals in the zoo collectively and in return zoos can run special programmes and visits for them and send updates of activities being undertaken by them. The zoos can also organise quizzes for them and make the winners ‘junior zoo rangers’ and can offer volunteer-ships. -Ramesh Pandey, Inspector General of Forests in MoEFCC

Zoos are established with an important mandate for creating awareness about the conservation of animals, educating masses about various wild species their habitats, habits, and their behaviour, etc. Not only this, zoos also help people visiting these zoos to create an emotional connection with animals and instill a feeling of care and love for these voiceless creatures. For people who take pride and have joy and satisfaction in taking care of animals, zoos offer a beautiful way by involving them through animal adoption schemes. An animal adoption scheme is an opportunity, where animal collection in zoos is offered to the general public for taking care of them. This scheme is open to the general public, animal lovers, influential people, celebrities, educational institutions, etc. Through this scheme, adopters will be involved in raising awareness among the masses about these creatures and will motivate them for the cause of conservation. The zoos have more direct public contact as a result of this scheme. Zoos house various animals having varied feed medicine and upkeep requirements. Think of the time of biological disaster – COVID-19. The zoos were closed to visitors. There was no income for the zoos. The feed, medicine, and other requirements of animals were to be fulfilled. The zoo managers cannot delay these procurements as these are necessities. Adoption and donation schemes came to the rescue in those difficult times. Conscious and thoughtful people came forward to help zoos throughout the world. The contribution of the donor or the adopter would assist in improving the existing overall facilities for the animals and ultimately for their better care and conservation in the zoos. A zoo is accepted into an Animal Adoption Scheme if it has sufficient credibility, commitment, and confidence in handling and caring for the animals in its care. This is because this programme would necessitate a great deal of responsibility on the part of the zoo employees. Significantly, such schemes forge a bond between human beings and wild animals, especially children.

Benefits to be given to the adopter

1-         The zoo provides an adoption membership card.

2-         Major activities/happening etc. of the zoo will be informed by mail to the adopter.

3-         Adopter will be issued a certificate of appreciation.

4-         The adopter can have self-satisfaction by contributing to the cause of the conservation of animals.

5-         The adoption may make a great gift for birthdays, Anniversaries, and other functions/occasions to family and friends.

-Aditi Sharma, Director, Lucknow Prani Udyan

Definitely, people should participate in adopting zoo animals. Zoological Gardens are for people to know about wild species and their behaviour. Animals are brought from the wild and kept in zoos which needs a lot of investment for taking care of zoos. An animal adoption scheme is an opportunity where the zoos can offer the zoo animals/animal species in their collection to the general public for taking care of them. Through this scheme, the zoos shall be in more direct public contact with enhanced accountability. This scheme should be open to the general public, animal lovers, corporate sectors, celebrities, educational Institutions, etc. So, such contributory nature of such schemes can make people understand the budgetary load and people can directly involve in zoo management. Adoption of zoo animals would help the zoo in involving conscious and esteemed people and companies in bringing more awareness about the plight of the endangered species. It shall be benefited from adopters' interest in the conservation of animal wealth of our globe. The contribution would assist in improving the existing overall facilities for the animals and ultimately for their better care & conversation in the zoos. Adopting an animal of your choice is just like a child adoption. Emotional feelings are developed among the masses because you consider them as your own belonging once you invest financially.- Dr Amita Kanauji, University of Lucknow

In my view, the idea of adopting zoo animals should be welcomed by all wildlife lovers. It would have multiple benefits foremost for the people who want to be attached to wildlife emotionally but are not getting opportunities as they live in urban areas. The other benefit will be the citation to people who are visiting the zoo will have to feel that animal in front of them is adopted by such & such person and is a family member of human so they should treat them also as a part of human society & not as wild animal only. Adoption of zoo animals will definitely help economically to zoo authorities by sharing their expenses on the livelihood of animals thus providing more room to support many more wild animals rescued from forests or villages/cities due to various reasons. This initiative will also set an example for students and the younger generation to protect and take care of wildlife wherever they came across situations of man v/s wildlife conflict which is increasing day by day. Adoption of animals in zoos should be given a lot of publicity so that people by such examples will become responsible towards animals and the persons adopting zoo animals will feel a sense of pride. If one person is not able to adopt an animal due to lack of funds but is willing to do the same then he can form groups and contribute together for one inmate. This way the financial burden will be distributed. Overall, this practice will create a source of manpower in society which will participate more actively in support of wild life protection wing of government force without any salary. Personally, I welcome this initiative.  -Anuj Kumar Saxena, Retd IFS

The maintenance of a zoo is a very expensive matter. Right from acquiring a vast geographical area to prepare separate habitats for different animals, to training the staff, to procuring special feed for animals, to manage health care, drainage, water systems, roads, and electricity- all require a heavy budget. Some income like entry fees, parking fees, or vehicle charges support the expenses but a large part is financed by the government. If at any point in time, a sufficient budget is not available it directly affects the lives of the animals. To support zoo maintenance and also to involve the general public in animal conservation, the idea of zoo adoption or animal adoption has been mooted. The adopter pays some money as prescribed by the zoo and adopts an animal of his choice which is spent on the food, health care, and habitat of the animal. It is a novel way to show your support and care for the wildlife. To popularize the scheme most of the zoos have got them registered with the Income Tax Department to make adoption fees eligible for income tax deduction under section 80G of the I T Act. The scheme may be further popularized with the increasing trend of awareness of conserving wildlife if the zoo authorities work for it through publicity, extension, and launching special drives for animal adoption. Celebrities also make the scheme popular as many cricketers like M S Dhoni, Anil Kumble, and many politicians have adopted one or the other animal. The scheme allows any individual, institution, organization, school, NGO, or commercial activity to adopt an animal. The fee varies from one lac to five lacs per annum for big animals and one or more thousand for small animals and birds. The adopters get facilities like free entry, guided tours, etc. depending on the adoption fee. In Lucknow Zoo, the ADOPT AN ANIMAL  scheme was started long back in 1944. The number of adoptions in 2019-20 was only 25. It requires more effort by the zoo authorities to expand it. Adopting an animal is fun not only for a person but for friends and family too. Adoption can make a great gift for birthdays, anniversaries, and memories. Let's show our concern for the conservation of the animals. -VP Srivastava, Member Commercial Tax Tribunal (Retd), President C-CARBONS

In a world brimming with bustling cities and modern conveniences, the allure of our natural environment and its inhabitants often takes a backseat. Our beloved country India is known for its rich history and cultural heritage. However, when it comes to environmental consciousness and animal welfare, there's room for improvement. In cities, space constraints not only affect our living situations but also limit our ability to fulfill the desire of having diverse pets at home. While dogs remain a popular choice for pets, the allure of owning other animals dwindles due to spatial limitations and stringent wildlife protection regulations. The 'Adopt an Animal in Zoo' programme stands as a remarkable opportunity, not only catering to fervent animal lovers but also bearing tremendous benefits for the animals themselves. The concept of adopting an animal in a zoo thrives prominently in Western countries, where it has gained significant popularity. In India, this commendable animal adoption programme was introduced during the 2009-10 period, aligning our practices with those followed globally. Presently, numerous Zoological Parks across the nation extend the opportunity for individuals to nurture and support their diverse array of animals and birds through the adoption initiative. As we adopt this progressive approach to animal care, we not only enrich the lives of these captivating creatures but also cultivate a deeper sense of responsibility and compassion within our communities. Embracing a love for animals, especially in a landscape where owning them is challenged by spatial constraints and stringent wildlife protection regulations, presents a unique scenario. Imagine this: a mere ₹50 becomes a potent force, nurturing the Capuchin monkey and extending a hand to the slender loris with just ₹18.50. The upkeep of a chimpanzee for a day amounts to ₹275.50, while the porcupine's care totals ₹13.53. For the endangered black buck, a modest sum of ₹28.41 proves sufficient, and the Himalayan black bear's well-being carries a price tag of ₹112.56. Envision the grandeur of the giraffe, its head held high with ₹795 a day, and the chimpanzee's vitality maintained at ₹275.50. Does the world of avian wonders beckon you? Explore a curated collection of species present in the zoo, encompassing not only the graceful flamingoes but also the stately pelicans, all accessible from as low as ₹1.48. On the other hand, if reptiles hold your fascination, a diverse spectrum of options awaits. From the captivating star tortoise, requiring a daily investment of ₹2.22, to the awe-inspiring gharial at ₹148.32, and even the python at ₹150 – the potential for involvement is as varied as the creatures themselves. If animal lover faces financial constraints when considering animal adoption in zoos, they have the option to form a group with friends, reducing the burden on individual pockets. This approach is not only suitable for individuals or groups of animal enthusiasts, but also for industries, schools, colleges, and banks, aiming to raise awareness about wildlife. This initiative resonates not only with the citizens of India but also with our cultural and mythological heritage, where animals hold significant symbolism (in Hindu mythology, each deity has an animal vehicle.

Benefits of the Adopt an Animal in Zoo Scheme

-           Enhanced well-being through improved care, nutrition, and enrichment.

-           Support for the protection and conservation efforts of endangered species.

-           Reduced stress levels due to engaging in enrichment activities.

 Benefits for Zoos:

-           Vital financial support for animal care, habitat improvements, and conservation projects.

-           Fostering a sense of community involvement and responsibility among visitors.

-           Opportunities to create educational materials and programs about animal welfare and conservation.

Benefits for People:

-           Development of emotional connections with animals, cultivating responsibility and compassion.

-           Acquisition of educational insights into various species, habitats, and conservation initiatives.

-           Inclusive participation options for individuals, groups, schools, and businesses, promoting awareness.

It is our responsibility to care for animals, guided by centuries of faith and stories. By doing so, we secure a better future for these creatures and ensure that upcoming generations can witness live animals in their natural habitats or in zoos, rather than solely reading about them in textbooks. -Ada Riyaz, M.Sc. Biodiversity Studies & Management. Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh

Making a difference: Significance of adopting zoo animals

A zoo is a fascinating place where children can embark on exciting adventures to observe animals and, to some extent, plants within their enclosures. Firstly, they get the opportunity to closely observe specific animals and their surroundings, which consist mainly of trees, shrubs, herbs, and grasses. This provides them with a glimpse of the natural habitats of these animals and highlights the vital link between plants and animals. Such experiences are essential for children as they learn to appreciate the integrity of forests and the interconnectedness of all living beings within them. By understanding the importance of forest conservation, they also develop an appreciation for the protection of wild animals in these forests. Secondly, children can observe the behaviour of animals and gain some basic information about their habits and characteristics from informative signs posted near each enclosure. These observations can ignite a spark of curiosity, encouraging children to delve further into understanding these animals. Discussions with parents and teachers may lead them to develop a keen interest in biology and animal behavioral sciences, inspiring some to pursue these fields as future careers or passionate hobbies, just like contemporary wildlife biologists and photographers. Thirdly, the zoo offers children the chance to encounter a wide variety of animals and plant species they may not encounter in their daily lives. This exposure helps them grasp the incredible diversity of life on Earth and understand the unique roles each species plays in sustaining nature's balance. As their understanding grows, children develop an appreciation for how these combined roles are crucial for ecosystem services like clean air, clean water, pollination, nutrient cycling, and more. Fourthly, children can watch short movies at the zoo, showcasing the care and efforts of zoo staff in ensuring the well-being of animals and maintaining a healthy environment for them. Witnessing these acts of compassion can foster empathy and a sense of responsibility towards animals, aligning with our constitutional duty to have compassion for all living creatures. Lastly, the zoo visit becomes an enriching experience as children interact with their parents. As they explore the zoo, their minds fill with curious queries, and their parents try to provide the best answers based on their knowledge. This curiosity extends beyond the zoo and into their homes, where parents play a crucial role in resolving their children's queries, ultimately shaping their interest in animals. Indeed, our homes serve as the first school, and parents' words become lasting imprints on their children's minds for life. Overall, the zoo is like a mini school, a brief yet meaningful place where children soak up valuable knowledge about nature. If this love for wildlife and the environment is nurtured, it becomes a powerful tool for a sustainable Earth where wildlife thrives in its rightful place.

Adoption usually refers to accepting parental responsibility for a child who is not biologically related. When it comes to zoo animals, adoption involves actively contributing to the care and welfare of a specific animal within the zoo's facilities. Adoption builds a personal and emotional bond with the adopted animal through regular zoo visits. This brings about a notable change in the adopter's life, providing a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. It further motivates adopters to learn about the adopted animal, including its behaviour, habitat, the importance of conservation, and the role it plays in the ecosystem. This connection develops into a special bond with the adoptee animal, creating lifelong memories. Sharing these experiences with others becomes the foundation for raising awareness, influencing, and inspiring others to take part in such a noble act of adoption. By adopting a zoo animal, one becomes an active participant in the national effort of wildlife conservation. This is achieved through the enriched life of the adopted animal, made possible by the efficient utilization of adoption funds. Firstly, the funds are used to provide specialized care, nutrition, and medical attention to the animal in question. Secondly, studies are conducted to gain a better understanding of the animal's behaviour, health, and other aspects, in order to fine-tune its conservation strategy. Lastly, financial assistance aids in the overall operation, maintenance, and conservation initiatives of the zoo. In addition to these benefits, adopters receive a non-transferable pass for zoo entry, their name and photo published on an animal board near the enclosure, and opportunities to participate in various events organized by the zoo, among others. By developing an emotional bond and actively contributing to conservation efforts, individuals come to understand their fundamental duty as citizens '…to have compassion for living creatures'. -Gaurav Verma, Range Forest Officer posted at Shaheed Ashfaq Ullah Khan Prani Udyan, Gorakhpur.

Topic of the month: Do you think the government must penalize those who do not leave a green space outside their homes, especially in colonies that necessitate it? Also housing societies must be made to ensure a green cover on their premises via a GO? Even slums should be greenified by the authorities? You may send your views (either in Hindi or English) in 300 words at [email protected]. Please also attach a colour photo of yourself.

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