Surge in animal adoptions at Vandalur zoo during pandemic, 200 adopted in 4 days

Even as several pets have been abandoned during the second wave, adoption of zoo animals have been on an all-time high with over 200 animals at the Arignar Anna Zoological Park at Vandalur getting adopted over the past four days.
Surge in animal adoptions at Vandalur zoo during pandemic, 200 adopted in 4 days
Zebra at Vandalur zoo (file pic)


Zoo officials said that usually they get only 20-30 adoptions in a month. “We ramped up our adoption model which includes slashing adoption rates as there is no other revenue source. Since then, many people have come forward to adopt our animals,” said a zoo official.
After the rates were reduced this week, at least 214 people adopted animals between June 11-14, in which around 100 of them happened on a single day on June 12. In 2019-2020, the zoo had around 131 adoptions, and this year, only 117 people adopted animals from the zoo until the recent lockdown.
“The zoo used to receive nearly 20 lakh visitors and earn Rs 15 crore revenue per year. But due to the pandemic, the zoo is closed, which has led to zero revenue. The standing cost for feeding itself is around Rs 65 lakh per month, so we ramped up the adoption model and reduced the rates, which helped in the increased adoptions,” the official added.
Earlier, the minimum cost for adoption would be Rs 1,000, and free complimentary passes were given to the people who spent over Rs 5,000 in adoptions. As people couldn’t spend more money on adoption during this pandemic, the cost was slashed and made on a day-to-day basis starting from Rs 100 – Rs 2,000 for birds and animals.
“Last year, the government helped with around Rs 6.5 crore which we spent on feeding the animals. This year too, the proposal has been sent and we are waiting for government’s approval,” the official added.

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