Tiger brand ambassador Dhoni adopts 'Agasthya'

Tiger brand ambassador Dhoni adopts 'Agasthya'

Indian skipper fourth cricketer to follow suit in Mysore zoo

here i come ‘Agasthya’,the tiger adopted by cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni, comes out of its enclosure at Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, in Mysore on Wednesday. dh photo

Dhoni, who is the brand ambassador for “Save Our Tigers” campaign at the national level has paid  ` one lakh towards the adoption of nine-year old ‘Agasthya’ in the Zoo for a period of one year.

Though, the skipper has not turned up in the Zoo, he has sent a message expressing his wish to adopt the tiger along with a cheque for the donation amount.

 “Tiger, our national animal needs protection. I am adopting ‘Agasthya’ to endorse and encourage our people to love animals and to stand for the cause of animal rights and conservation. Live and let live,” Dhoni said. Dhoni had expressed his passion for tigers in a television interview in September last year, when he described the majestic animal as pride of nation and spoke about his love for the animal. He was named the brand ambassador for “Save Our Tigers” campaign later.

Talking to Deccan Herald, K B Markandaiah, Conservator of Forests and Executive Director of the Zoo said that the adoption was possible due to initiative of former cricketer Javagal Srinath. “He is the brand ambassador for Mysore zoo. He has been an intermediary between Dhoni and the Zoo and also other cricketers like Zaheer Khan.
Khan has also adopted a tiger, Maharashtra here.”

He disclosed that Srinath had assured the authorities to bring Dhoni to Mysore Zoo during inaugural of Cheetah enclosure recently. Though his presence was not possible, Srinath has brought us the message of Dhoni adopting tiger, the Director said. Former cricketer himself has adopted an Asiatic lion and a Giraffe. While, another former cricketer Anil Kumble has adopted a Jaguar here.

As the popularity chart of adoption scheme is up year after year, 390 animals have been adopted in Mysore zoo so far. The Zoo mobilised a net income of ` 31 lakh last year, highest for any Zoo in the country. More than ` 10 lakh have been mobilised through adoption this year till now.

Among the high profile people who have chipped in include Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, Housing Minister V Somanna and others. Yoga guru B K S Iyengar adopted tiger, Brahma for lifetime. With Agasthya’s adoption, all eight tigers in Mysore zoo are adopted, Markandaiah said. Agasthya is nine year old tiger born in 2002 to Ramana and Smitha, both of whom died few years ago. 

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