Nandankanan Zoo to launch 'adopt an animal' programme

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Bhubaneswar, Oct 22 (UNI) If you are interested in becoming a foster parent of an animal, bird or reptile -- some endangered -- then join the Nandankanan Movement, as the Zoo is all set to launch the 'Adopt-an-Animal' programme to make a world of difference.

The programme, to be officially launched on October 24, would provide quality food to the zoo inmates to meet their nutritional requirements, improve lifestyle and boost the ongoing conservation programme.

Nandankanan Zoo Director Ajit Kumar Pattnaik said several progressive zoos worldwide had taken up such programmes which would not only help in raising funds but also in ensuring participation of individuals, institutions, corporate bodies, NGOs and others, for better management of the Zoo.

He further said the adoption of animals would certainly raise the awareness and commitment levels of people to respect, value and conserve the flora and fauna around.

Mr Pattnaik said apart from individuals, the 'Adopt-an-Animal' programme would be open to corporate bodies, clubs, NGOs and academic institutions, adding that the adopters would get benefit under Section 80G of the Indian Income Tax Act as Nandankanan is the only Zoo in the country to get this privilege.

As per the scheme, any animal-loving individual or institute could adopt any number of species from the captive animals, birds or reptiles in the zoo, by extending support for one year or multiples of month.

The amount, Mr Pattnaik said would be used in providing nutritional food, medical care and upgradation of enclosure. The adopted animal would continue to remain at the zoo under the care of zoo professional but the sponsor, to be known as foster parent, could visit and check whether the funds were properly used.

He further said all captive animals and birds in the zoo would be available for adoption but no foster parent would be allowed to take the animal home and no ownership rights would be given to anyone.

In case the adopted animal is removed from the collection of the zoo under Exchange Programme, the sponsorship, Mr Pattnaik said would be applied to another animal of the same species for the balance period and the foster parent would be duly informed.

All foster parents would be eligible to receive a customised adoption certificate, five entry tickets free for each adopted animal and the adopter's name displayed on a special board near the enclosure.

Special mention would be made in the Annual Report of the zoo and one could also adopt online though the zoo website www.nandankanan.org, Mr Pattnaik said.

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