The Nawab Wajid Ali Shah Zoological Garden in Lucknow, popularly known as Lucknow zoo, is launching a new scheme in its centenary year, under which visitors and animal lovers can sponsor a one-time meal of a lion, tiger or leopard.
The name of the sponsor would be displayed on the LED screen at the ticket counter of the zoo.
The scheme is the brainchild of the department of environment, forests and climate change (EFCC) and is designed to involve the public and boost a connection with wildlife.
Children, who constitute a considerable chunk of visitors to the zoo, would like the idea, says the zoo officials.
Additional chief secretary, EFCC, Manoj Singh said, “We have worked out the per day per-tiger meal cost, which would make it easy for the people to sponsor the meal for these inmates.”
The scheme is meant for large carnivores such as lions, tigers and leopards.
He said that the one-time meal of a tiger and a lion at Lucknow zoo costs around Rs 2,400 while that of a leopard is around Rs 800. A tiger eats 12-14 kg of meat at a time. A leopard, on the contrary, eats around 4 kg of meat at a time.
Last year during the lockdown, when the zoo was shut for a prolonged period, the income of the zoo had been severely impacted.
However, through the adoption scheme, the zoo had collected substantial money from institutes, organisations and individuals.
Zoo director R.K. Singh said, “At least 350 people in Lucknow alone had adopted animals at the zoo last year. The people had shown immense sensitivity and generosity by contributing towards the zoo’s adoption scheme.”
The new scheme, to be implemented shortly, is meant to make it possible for many people who want to adopt felines at the zoo but the high annual cost keeps them away.
The scheme could later be implemented in other zoos of the state.