Tirupati: Cash-strapped SV Zoo park looks at animal adoption scheme
- Last year, the zoo is closed for nearly 8 months and lost Rs 4 crore income
- In the second wave, visitors are not allowed for more than 2 months incurring a revenue loss of about Rs 1 crore
Tirupati: SV Zoo Park authorities want to give an impetus to animal adoption scheme amid deep financial losses during the Covid first and second waves.
The Zoological park in Tirupati lost around Rs 1 crore in about two-and-half months as it was closed following the severe spread of Covid second wave. It was closed for visitors on May 4 and reopened again on Monday.
The zoo park witnessed only 556 visitors on the first day of reopening and may take some more time to attract more visitors. This will have a big dent on its declining finances. Last year also, it was closed for nearly eight months during the first wave which ended up in a net loss of about Rs 4 crore with which the cash reserves have dried up.
Zoo park Curator M Hima Sailaja said that during the last financial year, they could get only Rs 1.7 crore as against the expected Rs 5-6 crore. She told The Hans India that the government has allocated Rs 2 crore for feed etc., and this year also they requested the government to allocate the same amount as the situation is difficult to handle.
It has to incur about Rs 5 crore expenditure per annum in which wage bill amounts to around Rs 3.5 crore for animal keepers and other housekeeping staff and another Rs 2.5 crore for animal feed. To maintain a healthy state of finances and to involve people in animal conservation, they have been promoting animal adoption scheme accepting even small amounts as donations.
The scheme which was there already will be promoted further as even small amounts of donation will help the Zoo authorities. The donors will get tax exemption too under Section 80G of Income Tax Act. Though the involvement of youth in the scheme has been increasing slowly, it has a long way to go.
They have been looking for philanthropists also to lend a helping hand. It may be recalled that Infosys has spent nearly Rs 15 crores to build the compound wall at a stretch of seven kilometres.
Needless to say that like any other Zoo, this park also mainly depends on entry tickets for revenue. It gets about Rs 5-6 crore per annum on an average besides some government grant which is used for animal feed and salaries for regular employees.
Irrespective of the revenue generation, they have to meet all the expenditure and when there is no income which becomes a hurdle for the authorities as they have to draw it from the past cash reserves.