Tigress adopted by a man in Bhopal

BhopalBhopal, Jan 23 : Adoption of a rare Indian Python by a girl spurred another man to adopt a tigress in Van Vihar National Park of Bhopal, under the ''adoption of wildlife'' scheme launched by the zoo authorities on Jan 1 enabling people to sponsor their favourite animals living in the zoo.

The Animal Adoption Scheme started in 1994, aims to encourage patronage towards a noble cause. The Bhopal zoo allows adoption of animals like a lion, leopard, bear, python, hyena, crocodile and ghariyal.

Gulrez Ahmed, who is now the owner of the tigress said, "I got to know that one can adopt an animal and take care of it. I felt that while I should contribute towards the safety of the animal that is being killed by people to make money. This is the least I can do."

India holds over half the world''s tiger population, but according to conservationists, it might lose the position.

According to the latest tiger census report released on February 12, 2008, by the National Tiger Conservation Authority, the current tiger population ranges between a minimum of 1,165 to 1,657 tigers.

Law student Abhinita Das was the first person to adopt a wild animal under the scheme. Remembering the time of adoption she said," I had come visiting this zoo when I got to know that one could adopt an animal here. It was later that I realised that I am the first one to adopt an animal. A lot of people are coming and it feels nice that I was the pioneer and have inspired others also,"

The adoption scheme is fast catching up with people and the zoo authorities claim that they have been receiving many enquiries.

However, the zoo caretakers believe that there is a need to spread awareness and educate people about the scheme, which helps them to support animals from a period ranging from a month to a year. (ANI)