The Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in Mumbai had invited citizens, corporates and institutions to adopt animals like lions, tigers, leopards, rusty-spotted cats, blue bulls, barking deer and spotted deer for up to a year upon paying a fee.
The idea of adopting the animals was proposed to cover the cost of animal maintenance. According to the forest department, surprisingly SGNP has received more applications for adoption than the population of animals itself.
This animal adoption drive poured in more number of applications to adopt these wild animals than anticipated.
According to the sources, the officials now have a difficult task at hand as to whose application to accept and whose to reject.
Within 4-5 days, we received a lot of application. There are total 65 animals including 5 tigers and 1 lion and the applications received are way beyond them
- Vijay Barbde, Forest Area Manager
Under the adoption scheme, an individual can adopt an animal for a year by paying 30-40% of annual total expenditure on any animal.
Amongst those who have applied are political leaders, cricketers and general public as well.
I don't see Arjun as an animal from National Park but as Arjun Waze my child. Even though it's a leopard, it's like my son.
- Sadhna Waze, a leopard guardian
The effectiveness of this scheme will result in its replication in other parts too which means more wild animals will have parents.