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Actor couple adopts chimpanzee at Alipore Zoo

Actor couple adopts chimpanzee at Alipore Zoo
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Kolkata: The animal adoption scheme—that had found a single taker this calendar year—received a boost as one of the star attractions of the zoo, Chimpanzee Babu, was adopted by theatre actor Sohini Sengupta and Saptarshi Maulik. The scheme was introduced in 2013.

"I am happy that they have shown great interest in adopting Babu and I am hopeful that after an extremely lean period of animal adoption, triggered due to the COVID -19 pandemic, more persons will come forward for adoption,"Asis Samanta, Director of Alipore Zoological Gardens, said.

Sohini Sengupta appealed to people to come forward and be a part of the adoption scheme. "People often waste money unnecessarily but it will be of great help to the zoo authority if we stand by them through adopting a single animal,"she added.

Saptarshi Maulik expressed satisfaction over the security arrangement at the zoo and said the authorities have

taken strict measures to ensure that the animals are protected in their enclosures. "Babu is a superstar in the

zoo and we are happy to contribute for its better living," he

maintained.

The fees for adoption of 36-year-old Babu is Rs 50000 for a year.

In 2015-16, the revenue from the initiative had increased to Rs 31.65 lakh. However it dropped drastically to Rs 11.75 lakh in 2017-18 with the adoption of only 5 animals. In 2018-19, 29 animals that included a good number of birds were adopted and the revenue earned was Rs 16.80 lakh.

In 2019-20, there were 5 adoptions and the revenue dropped to a meagre Rs 2.15 lakh.

During this year, only one of the five animals had been adopted. Ansul Jain, a resident of AJC Bose Road, renewed his contract of adopting a chimpanzee that he had first acquired in 2019-20.

The adoption rates vary in the range of Rs 10000 to Rs 2 lakh per annum depending upon the animals. Besides incentives like celebrating the birthday of the adopted animal inside the zoo, the scheme provides an opportunity to use the animal's photograph for publication in newspapers, magazines, in the letterhead and website of the individual or the institution.

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