Bhubaneswar, Oct 24 (UNI) ''Adopt-an-animal,'' a novel scheme, was today launched at the famous Nandankanan Zoo to ensure better conservation of its over 1200 animals, birds and reptiles by their foster parents.
The Zoo, spread over 364 hectares, which has the unique distinction of being the host zoo for captive breeding of white tigers and initiating the conservation programme for the Gharials, besides rearing and captive breeding of highly threatened Indian Pangolin, invited the wildlife lovers, institutions and industrial houses to lend a helping hand to adopt the inmates.
The Zoo authority has fixed the price for adoption cost of different species for their upkeep for one month to a year and even more duration.
The Adopt-an-animal programme saw twin sisters--Shristi and Prakruti-- from Cuttack receiving the customized adoption certificate for adopting a blue and yellow Macaw.
The first organisation to join the programme was the Rotary Club of Bhubaneswar which came forward to adopt a King Cobra while two senior citizens from Kolkota adopted an elongated tortoise and a love bird, showing their concern for the conservation of the wildlife in the nature.
Speaking on the occasion, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest B K Pattnaik said the programme would provide a scope to the zoo authority to undertake various developmental activities.
Principal Secretary Forest H S Chahar said the adoption programme would certainly break the barrier between the animal and the human beings and help understand that the two could achieve harmony through co-existence.
He said the new adoption programme in Nandankanan would be the first zoo in the country to get privilege under section 80G of the Income Tax.
UNI DP KK AB 1742