Mysore zoo likely to adopt mini-zoos
Mysore, Jul 1 : The century-old Mysore zoo is likely to adopt a mini-zoo in the state every year to provide expertise in animal management.
It would guide the managements of the mini-zoos on how to generate more revenue by adopting strategies that worked for the zoo here.
"Mysore zoo has vast expertise in animal management and potential to make the mini-zoo attractive. So, we have proposed to allow the zoo to adopt a mini-zoo every year to make them revenue grossers," Zoo Authority of Karnataka (ZAK) chairman Nanjundaswamy told UNI.
Following lack of revenue, the mini-zoos had not been able to attract visitors, he said.
The proposal to amend the law would be placed before the next meeting of the authority's governing council.
As part of this proposal, Mysore zoo, which has an annual income of around Rs 14 crore, would be allocated about Rs 50 lakh for the development of the mini-zoos, the official added.
'Karnataka has mini-zoos in Belgaum, Davangere, Bellary, Gadag and Gulbarga. ZAK, which has its headquarters here, has already released funds to improve them. Mr Nanjundaswamy said an aviary was being set up and enclosures renovated in the Belgaum and Gulbarga mini-zoos. Nearly 150 birds were being given to both from the Mysore zoo.
Work on replacing wooden sleepers with concrete ones was underway at the Gulbarga zoo for operating a toy train, he said.
A facelift has been planned for the Davangere zoo too.
The one in Bellary would be closed once the zoo near Hampi is opened.
He said ZAK would make more efforts to popularize the animal adoption scheme, which has been a hit in Mysore, in mini-zoos, where it has not been too successful. Local managements must take special interest in popularizing the scheme by sensitizing visitors about its importance, he said.
The ZAK chairman said more number of battery operated vehicles had been introduced in Mysore zoo to help visitors, especially senior citizens and those with physical disabilities, explore the 45-acre zoo. Ultrasound scanning has been introduced at the zoo hospital and facilities had been upgraded for better veterinary care, he said.
The Mysore Zoo has embarked upon a novel scheme to allow differently appealed children of any such school to go on a trip around the Zoo free of cost every Tuesday, the day being a regular holiday for the Zoo with no entry to visitors. The scheme was mooted by the Zoo Executive Director B P Ravi.
About 45 children with cerebral palsy, attached to Sneha Kirana Spastic Society in Metagalli here, rejoiced at the Zoo last week.
They were assisted by other children of Pramati School.
Teachers and parents of those special children too accompanied them, feeling relieved that the children were having an enjoyable time during the outing.
It was delightful to see normal children mingle freely with them and explain the details of flora and fauna in Zoo in their own kiddish style.
Ravi said the Zoo was not just a place for entertainment but also a place for education, environmental awareness and building cordial human-animal relationship.
He said the Zoo will allow differently abled children free of cost on Tuesdays and provide the battery-operated vehicles for them to move around. He assured that assistance of Zoo staff would be provided to them tto understand Zoo better.
He said the facility will also be provided to children of government schools, especially those in rural and forest areas.
The ZAK, which controls the Mysore zoo, has decided to felicitate people who have been adopting animals and birds under its scheme for the last six years and the date of felicitation would be announced shortly, Mr Nanjundaswamy added. The animal adoption scheme at Mysore zoo, one of the biggest and oldest in the country, was first introduced in 1995, but became popular after it was re-launched in 2006.
Celebrities, institutions as well as the general public have been adopting animals and birds at the zoo every year.
With its novel initiatives and an impressive collection of animals, the zoo has built a brand image for itself, which, perhaps, is a big draw for animal lovers, who seem keen on adopting small and big animals, paying for them for a period of one year.
Among the prominent personalities who have adopted animals and birds here are former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa; cricketers M S Dhoni and Zaheer Khan, former cricketers Anil Kumble and Javagal Srinath, Kannada actor Darshan, yoga guru B K S Iyengar, Congress leader and the former Minister D K Shivakumar, and institutions such as the Karnataka Silk Industries Corporation. In 2010-11, the zoo collected Rs 30.2 lakh as adoption fees.
Mysore Zoo's latest tourist-friendly move of e-ticketing was launched at the Zoo premises few days back. Bandipur and Bannerghatta wildlife parks would be made more tourist-friendly on the lines of Mysore Zoo, Mr Nanjundaswamy said. He said Mysore Zoo was the first in India to introduce such a service. Similar service would be started in Simhadhama at Shimoga also. Since the hi-tech vehicle service in Bannerghatta has received good response, we would l introduce another vehicle soon', he added.
E-ticketing facility would also be introduced in Bannerghatta and Bandipur which will facilitate booking safari and guest houses, he said.