Tirupati: Pandemic dries up SV Zoological park's cash reserves
- Zoo loses about Rs 3 crores since the closure of the park for visitors in March
- It used to earn Rs 2 lakh daily with an average footfall of 2,000
Tirupati: The SV Zoological Park in Tirupati has been facing severe financial strain following its closure since March 20 due to Covid-19 outbreak. Before the closure, the zoo park used to attract more than 2,000 visitors on an average a day with the number going up vastly during holidays and peak season thereby fetching around Rs 60 lakh revenue per month. The resultant loss was to the tune of around Rs 3 crore during the last five-and-a-half months.
Even after the beginning of unlock 4.0, no decision was taken yet on the reopening of the zoo for visitors. The zoo gets the major chunk of maintenance expenditure from ticket sales only. While the zoo generates a revenue of Rs 2 lakh per day, it requires almost Rs 1.64 lakh daily for the maintenance which cannot be stopped even if there is no revenue.
This led to severe financial crisis for the zoo park as it had to spend for maintenance that includes salaries, electricity charges and other emergency items out of the savings in previous years. It was learnt that these losses have made an adverse impact on food of the animals including birds, reptiles and mammals.
Zoo park curator M Hima Sailaja told The Hans India that if the same situation continues in future, the available resources will be exhausted. Even after the reopening of the zoo park it may get only half of its previous revenue for another six months or so before bouncing back to the previous stage with restrictions and all.
The only hope in the present scenario is philanthropists and wildlife lovers. The 'Adopt an Animal' programme has to be given further impetus now to provide quality food to meet the nutritional requirements, medical care, equipment among other things to all inhabitants. Significantly, all donations and contributions under the adoption scheme get tax exemptions under Section 80G of Income Tax Act.
One can contribute any amount of their choice to adopt their beloved animals and it was learnt that youth have shown more interest in this programme to mark various occasions like their birthdays and wedding anniversaries. With much publicity it has to be taken further to reach out wider sections of the people which will mark a lasting impact on wildlife conservation.