It’s not every day that an Asiatic lion finds a new family. For Chhatbir zoo’s Akshit, the day of reckoning, however, fell on Friday as he became the tricity’s first animal to be adopted by a private entity.
Sharing details, deputy commissioner Aashika Jain said the zoo administration had informed her about the adoption scheme during her recent visit. They had sought her assistance in mobilising entities, including students, teachers, and non-governmental organisations and to come forward and support the noble cause.
From among the district administration team, general manager Arshjit Singh took the lead in motivating a philanthropist from ALP Nishikawa Company Private Limited in Lalru, Derabassi to partake. The donor was eager to adopt the majestic animal by paying for their overall care with a ₹206,400 donation.
Commended the gesture, the DC said the philanthropists’ actions deserved appreciation and would further encourage others to come forward.
Echoing the sentiment, zoo field director Kalpana K also praised the donor and stated that it was the first time a private industry from the tricity had come forward to support wildlife conservation by adopting a lion.
The donor’s name would be displayed on a board in front of the adopted animal’s enclosure, and they would receive the privilege of being an ex-officio member of the Punjab Zoo Development Society, in addition to enjoying free visits to the zoo four times a year.
Further appealing to the public, Kalpana urged them to adopt wild animals for a month or a year as part of the animal adoption scheme. The initiative helps with captive breeding programmes for endangered species and other conservation projects, she said, providing a mobile number, 98558-08072, for obtaining more information about the adoption scheme.
Students can also participate by adopting various species of birds, reptiles, and animals for as low as ₹50 per month.