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Raveena Tandon is brand ambassador for Mumbai’s national park, adopts one leopard

With this, all the leopards and lions in the park have been adopted this year

mumbai Updated: Sep 26, 2018 01:01 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
Raveena Tandon,Sanjay Gandhi National Park,Borivli national park
The expenses related to the upkeep of the animals will be borne by those who adopt them for a year. (HT )

Officials at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), said all the leopards and lions in the park are now adopted. Park officials made the claim on Tuesday, during the Arambh event. Hindi film actress Raveena Tandon was declared SGNP’s brand ambassador during the event, which was organised by the state forest department.

While Tandon adopted a leopard at SGNP’s rescue centre, all the other leopards and lions have been adopted by a private company, officials said. “Our brand ambassador [Raveena Tandon] adopted a leopard for ₹1.2 lakh. Eight other leopards as well as all the lions were also adopted...,” said Anwar Ahmed, director of forest, SGNP.

The expenses related to the upkeep of the animals will be borne by those who adopt them for a year. Due to rising maintenance cost of the animals at SGNP, the forest department had issued a resolution in 2014 which made it possible for citizens and companies in the city to adopt animals for a year upon paying a certain fee.

During the event, SGNP’s new website (sgnp.maharastra.gov.in) was launched. The Jan Dhan Van Dhan store was inaugurated to promote products exclusively made of materials available in forests. “One of the features of the city is SGNP. A rich forest with flora and fauna, is ideal for sustainable development,” forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, said at the event.

Read more: 10-year-old male leopard dies at Mumbai national park, second death in a week

Meanwhile, SGNP officials remained clueless about the recent deaths (due to suspected poisoning) of two male leopards – 10 month old Suraj and 10 year old Bhandara – at the rescue centre earlier this month.

“We have not got any clear evidence yet about what led to the deaths but standard operating procedures (SOPs) have been issued across departments and visceral, meat sample results are awaited,” said Ahmed.

The adoption of animals means that they will remain within the park but all expenses related to their upkeep will be borne by those who adopt the animals for a year.

“Another electric vehicle was donated to us, which was also inaugurated.”

Due to rising maintenance cost of the animals at the 103 sq km park, the state forest department had issued a government resolution approving the adoption scheme at SGNP in 2014, making it possible for Mumbaiites and companies in the city to adopt animals such as lions, tigers, white tigers, leopards and spotted deer for a year upon paying a certain fee.

According to SGNP officials, nine animals were adopted in 2014, including a five year old tiger and two rusty spotted cats by Yuva-Sena chief Aditya Thackeray and his younger brother Tejas. Owing to deaths at the park and an escalated cost of each animal put up for adoption, not a single animal was adopted in 2015 or 2016. However, seven-year-old male leopard Bhima was adopted by Union Minister Ramdas Athawale last year.

Terms and conditions to adopt an animal at SGNP

•One animal can be adopted for a year

•The amount paid towards adoption will be non-refundable and interested persons/company should draw a demand draft

•The state would continue to own the animal

•The adopter’s name would be displayed outside the adoptee animal’s cage

•Adopter would be allowed to visit the animal once a week without additional fees

•The adopter would not be allowed to put in conditions regarding the animal’s diet, medicines, cages etc.

•They will be provided with a certification of adoption

First Published: Sep 26, 2018 01:01 IST