Actress Dia Mirza has adopted two leopard cubs at the Lucknow zoo, called Ashoka and Nakshatra. Apparently, at the behest of the zoo director Renu Singh, she has sent a cheque of Rs 1 lakh to support the leopard cubs and the leopardess as part of the adoption scheme. Mirza confirmed this and says she is willing to support them throughout their lifetime.
"There can’t be a better way to become a mum. The leopardess who gave birth to the cubs is called Dia Mirza. I was amused when the zoo director wrote to me informing about the cubs and the leopardess. I was thrilled to be a mother, and that too without any pain. I just have to send a cheque periodically so that my babies are well-looked after. It’s the most beautiful feeling in the world," she gushes.
The Hum Tum Aur Ghost actress named the cubs when she visited the zoo in Lucknow recently. The leopardess had strayed into human settlements in Mirzapur district in Uttar Pradesh in December 2004. The forest staff, with a lot of effort, rescued the feline and named her Dia after bringing her to the Lucknow zoo. Since the animal was rescued in Mirzapur, she was re-named Dia of Mirzapur and later, Dia Mirza. Over a period of time, Dia was mated with a male leopard, Akbar, who was also rescued and brought to the zoo in 2006. Their cubs were born in June 2009.
Mirza, the actress, says that she finds the zoo director’s strategy smart because, “It’s easier for them to name the animals after popular people and then ask the same people to contribute to the animal’s well being. It actually gives public figures a chance to support animal welfare, instead of simply gushing about doing something.”