Sacrificing for the love of animals
It is called the pursuit of happiness. While some resort to spiritualism and some resort to adventure, many seek happiness in expensive indulgences. At the same time, there are a section of people who experience pure happiness in giving.Bhakti V Hegde writes about those who have sought happiness by adopting animals at Pilikula Nisargadhama.
Pilikula Nisargadhama Society has come as a silver lining in the life of many wild animals. From giving them nutritious food to taking care of their general well being, the Society has been trying its level best to give a comfortable life to the animals which would have otherwise been the victims of human being’s greed.
The society has over 55 varieties of wild animals and as one can imagine, maintaining these animals incur huge expense. With the aim of pooling in more resources and to evoke sense of sensitivity among people about wild animals, the society started the ‘Animal Adoption programme’ about four years ago. Today the Society looks back with great deal of contentment because, as against the initial aim of the Society of tapping corporate entities to sponsor the animals, there are good numbers of individuals coming forth to adopt the animals voluntarily.
The Society has five leopards. The cost of maintaining one leopard per month is Rs 25,000. There are eight Bengal Tiger with expense per animal amounting up to Rs 40,000 per month. Likewise, there are two Lion adults requiring Rs 80,000 per month, three lion cubs for which the Society requires Rs 18,000 each.
Apart from this, there are some rare varieties of wild animals like the Sambhar deer, the black bucks, the barking deer, mouse deer, Leopard cat, toddy cat, Civet cat, Giant Squirrel, Bonnet Macaque etc for which the Society is spending on an average of Rs one to Rs six lakh per annum.
Recently the Society hit the pages of almost all news dailies for its rare accomplishment of successful artificial habitat breeding of King Cobra. This unique phenomenon has added a bunch of tiny little crawling guests to the Society.
Society has 15 King Cobras for which it requires about Rs 2.25 lakh for maintenance. Indian Cobras, Indian Rock Python, Russell Viper, Sand Boa, Crocodiles etc too have been nurtured, on which the Society is spending substantial amount per year.
Though maintaining birds does not sum up to a huge amount, the Society has a host of several exotic birds like Blue Gold Macaw, Green winged macaw, Galah Cuckatto, Sun Conure etc which are serving lavish spectacle to visitors.
During 2005-07, there were 75 individual as well as corporate donors who came forth and donated generously for the cause of the animals. Not to forget are the names like Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited and Mescom Mangalore who donated Rs 1,65,000 each and adopted one lion and one tiger each, thereby setting the trend.
From here, the series of people and corporate coming forward to adopt the lovely animals has been on the rise.
During 2009-10, Mescom led the programme by adopting two tigers with Rs 3,60,000. KIOCL sponsored five panthers at a cost of Rs 1,80,000 and MCF sponsored 10 Sambhar deers at a cost of Rs 1,20,000.
The 2010-11 year was the year of individuals adopting animals. As many as 58 individual donors came forward to adopt animals.
This year there are large number of employees from companies like Infosys, Bharathi Shipyard, MCF, MRPL etc giving a share of their salary every month to the Society to take care of smaller animals and birds.
Speaking to City Herald, Society Executive Director J R Lobo said that the programme has seen a huge response over the years and the interest of people is just increasing.
“This is a positive trend but what is the matter of happiness is the degree of individuals adopting animals. Corporate entities do have the capability to adopt the animals undoubtedly but what is an emotional aspect is the fact that large number of employees are coming forward to adopt animals keeping a part of their salary apart, religiously every month for this great service,” says Lobo adding that Mangaloreans settled abroad too have been greatly supportive in the programme.
He says that more and more individuals should come forward to adopt the animals and do their bit.