Animal lovers will have to shell out more to adopt wild animals at the Malsi Deer Park here than in a state like Karnataka.
As per the rates released by Uttarakhand government on Wednesday, adopting a leopard at Malsi Deer Park will be nearly 6.8 times costlier than the southern state.
Officials here, however, justified the rate attributing it to higher “upkeep cost.”
Divisional forest officer (DFO), Dehradun and director of the park P K Patro told Hindustan Times that the rates were proportionate to the expenses incurred on animals and were fixed after reviewing Karnataka’s rates.
“For instance a leopard eats 3kg meat daily. A kilogram of meat costs Rs 200. So per day Rs 600 is spent to feed it. So, monthly (26 days) Rs 15,600 is spent on its diet given that one day in a week is a no-food day for the animal. Annually it comes to Rs 1.87lakh. In addition to that we also incur expenses on its vaccination, medicines and maintenance,” he said.
Calculating all these expenses, the government fixed the annual rate for adopting a leopard at Rs 2.4lakh. In Karnataka the rate is just Rs 35,000. Similarly, adopting a parrot in Malsi will cost Rs 45,000 annually as against Rs 2000 in Karnataka. The adoption cost for the park’s recently acquired ostrich has been fixed at Rs 45,000. In Karnataka it’s Rs 10,000 only.
Park authorities have listed 15 of its prized possessions for adoption.
To encourage people to adopt animals from the park, the government has offered 50 percent income tax rebate and other fringe benefits, like concession on entry fees, to those who will adopt an animal. Besides, the person will also be felicitated and his name will be put on the cage of the adopted animal.
Apart from that, the park management is also contemplating to allow students, volunteers and animal enthusiasts to spend a day with the animals at the zoo. Those supporting the management’s move will be felicitated, a forest official said.