The COVID-19- induced lockdown has actually struck zoos in the State very hard, Deputy Conservator of Forests Ashok Patil said in Belagavi on Friday.
The nine zoos in the State had seen 65 lakh visitors in 2015. This year just 5 lakh persons visited them till now. Even income of the Zoo Authority of Karnataka has actually suffered greatly. In 2015, it earned 70 crore. “However this year, it has fallen significantly,” he said.
Zoos are independent bodies that are to be run in your area. The State government does not offer running expenses. All the expenses of feeding animals and managing workers costs have to be fulfilled through ticket sales. But with falling revenues, it has actually ended up being difficult to keep staff and look after the animals, offering them feed and fodder, Mr. Patil said.
Similarly, the Kittur Rani Channamma Mini Zoo in Belagavi has actually also suffered during the lockdown. It is in a prime place on the Pune-Bengaluru National Highway, 9 kilometres away from the city.
It is being upgraded with a higher count of meat-eating and herbivorous animals. A tiger safari will be established near the zoo. “Almost 70 % work has actually been finished and work is pending as we are struck by funds crunch,” he added.
” There is no federal government grants for this work and we require donations from the public,” he stated.
To come out of this difficult situation, the government has selected to seek residents cooperation. The Zoo Authority of Karnataka and the government want to take up resident engagement in an aggressive manner.
” To engage people in our efforts to save zoos, we have actually introduced a mobile application. The scion of the erstwhile Mysuru royal family Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar and Forest Minister Anand Singh have launched this app,” he said.
The app will enable people to donate to zoos or adopt animals. Any quantity above 50 can be donated to any zoo. Each can download this and donate to the federal government. “Mr. Anand Singh has actually instructed us that we require people involvement in management of zoos throughout this time of crisis,” he included.