Adopt a tiger, get tax exemption
HYDERABAD, Wednesday 19th October 2011

 

Want to adopt a tiger? Or for that matter, a lion? You can’t, of course, take it home but still you can have the satisfaction of looking after your favourite animal.

And as a bonus, get income tax exemption as well. If you want to, you need not go far. The Zoo Authority of Andhra Pradesh has recently received necessary approvals to make this dream a reality in its bid to promote public participation in wildlife conservation. “We have recently got the nod and those who adopt animals will get income tax exemption under Section 80G (2&5) of the Income Tax Act-1961,” M Mallikarjuna Rao, Director of AP Zoos, told City Express.

Any donation made under the animal adoption scheme is eligible for I-T exemption, he added. During this financial year, about 15 animals have been adopted by various people in the zoos at Tirupati, Visakhapatnam and Hyderabad. Among the adopted animals are two Bengal tigers, two chimpanzees, two crocodiles and three monkeys.

In the last one year, about 16 animals were adopted and as per the zoo records, Rs. 20 lakh was received under the adoption scheme.

The Zoo Authority officials and Forest and Environment Minister S Vijayarama Raju at a meeting last month had chalked out a plan to popularise animal adoption scheme among all sections of the society, particularly VIPs and VVIPs to make them stakeholders in wildlife conservation.

Former principal of the Gandhi Medical College Dr Pradeep Deshpande is among those who adopted the animals. “In August, I adopted a one-year-old tiger cub called Pushpa Kumar, named by Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh. It was born to tiger Karuna which died recently at the Nehru Zoological Park. I adopted Pushpa Kumar on the occasion of my grandson’s first birthday as a unique gift to him.” Elaborating on the reasons for his decision to adopt the tiger, he pointed out that animal behaviour sometimes appears superior to human behaviour.

“This is why I adopted a tiger,” he said. Anaesthetic doctor I Kiran and his wife also recently adopted a crocodile and a tiger. He also agreed with Pande and said people do not bother much about animals. “So we need to encourage people to participate in the animal protection and conservation for their future by adopting them,” he said. Those who adopt animals will get some benefits from the zoo like free entry for the family members, display of his/her name outside the animal enclosure and invitation for workshops conducted at the zoo.

The adoption, however, is a bit costly but it depends on what exactly one is adopting. A person who adopts an animal has to pay for its maintenance for a year or six months.