India skipper MS Dhoni showed he had the eye of the tiger en route his match-winning knock in the World Cup final. Soon, he could have an endangered cat all for himself.
Authorities at the Mysore zoo told HT that former India pacer Javagal Srinath was in touch with the Chennai Super Kings skipper and has urged him to adopt one of the eight tigers in the 245-acre zoo - one of the oldest in the country that was founded near the Mysore Palace in 1892 under the patronage of the royal family.
Srinath, who adopted a jaguar at the zoo a few years ago, told the zoo authorities Dhoni is quite keen but due to his busy schedule will only be able to make a commitment after the Indian Premier League. “Srinath convinced him to adopt a tiger, and we are awaiting a final confirmation from Dhoni. Srinath said he (Dhoni) is very busy with the IPL season hitting the home stretch. Once the IPL is done, he will make it official,” said the zoo manager.
Srinath, who hails from Mysore, also got former India teammate Anil Kumble to adopt a giraffe at the zoo. Recently, pacer Zaheer Khan also adopted a tiger here.
If Dhoni adopts the tiger, he will enjoy a few special privileges. “The adoption money will be spent on feeding and to meet the medical costs of the tiger. There will be hoardings to let the visitors know which tiger Dhoni has adopted,” the zoo manager said.
The latest census pegs the nationwide tiger population at 1,746, up from 1,411 in 2008. The zoo authorities feel with more big names like Dhoni joining the campaign to save tigers, it will help in the conservation of the national animal.
Dhoni had lent his name to a tiger conservation scheme at the Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand. He also appeared in a TV campaign to save the animal from extinction.
Anil Kumble - Went for a giraffe.
Zaheer Khan - Opted for a tiger.