Corporates have finally started doing their mite for conservation of wildlife. In small, but definite steps, the popular Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad is getting funds for both upkeep of animals and maintenance of facilities.

Into its 50th year, the zoo, one of the largest in the country, has got 31 adoptions of animals with a commitment of Rs 55 lakh since April 2013. The list of corporates include ITC Bhadrachalam, IVRCL, Ramky Infra, Suchir India, logistics major Gati and multinational Broadridge.

Tiger, the favourite

A major fillip to conservation of animals in the zoo was given by the State Bank of Hyderabad, which donated Rs 15 lakh to take care of 15 tigers. This was followed by GSPC, which gave Rs 10 lakh to procure two pairs of Squirrel monkeys and maintain them, said A. Shankaran, Zoo Curator.

While tiger is the favourite of most donors, bigger animals such as elephants, bears and even birds have brought in welcome funds for the menagerie. The zoo has fixed annual maintenance amounts based on the food, medication and other upkeep charges for a year. While for a tiger it comes to Rs 1 lakh, the highest is Rs 5 lakh for the elephant, he said.

The zoo, which attracted 28 lakh visitors last year is spread over 380 acres. Started in 1963, it houses around 1,600 animals representing 160 species of mammals, reptiles and birds. In line with other major zoo’s in the country, an adoption scheme was launched in 2002. Under this, corporates and donors get tax exemptions and incentives such as guest house accommodation, visits and a placard stating that ‘This enclosure is adopted by… ’ placed in front of the animal, Sankaran, who is also the Deputy Conservator of Forests, told Business Line .

Schools too chip in

In the past few months, corporate interest is gaining momentum. While infra major IVRCL adopted a tiger and named it ‘Infra’, logistics company Gati also donated a lakh to take care of a tiger. ITC Bhadrachalam has committed Rs 6-8 lakh for the maintenance of an island and donated Rs 1.5 lakh for a pair of white swan. The latest is Broadridge Financial Solutions (India), which adopted all the aviaries as part of its corporate social responsibility

Nature and wildlife lovers, schools and institutions are also chipping in their contributions. In October, a Dubai-based Chartered Accountant and nature enthusiast N.S. Ramjee donated Rs 8 lakh towards conservation and maintenance of an elephant, sloth bear, Malaysian sun bear and rhino in perhaps a highest for an individual.

Sri Chaitanya Institute, NASR Boys School, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Glendale Academy are among schools that have been regularly making contributions for the upkeep and care of the animals, he explained.

special brochure

To mark the 50{+t}{+h} year celebration of the zoo, a special brochure has been designed by Prem Aman, a documentary film maker and campaigner for social causes. Cricketer V.V.S. Laxman said he would bat for the animals. He was the chief guest at the Adoption Day recently and would play a role like his colleague Anil Kumble, who is the brand ambassador for the Mysore zoo, Sankaran said.