Dhoni's feline love in Mysore

Dhoni's feline love in Mysore

Dhoni's feline love in Mysore

Agasthya, a nine-year-old which is already a resident at the Mysore Zoo, is the chosen one, and will soon be moved from its cage to a special, clearly marked enclosure that will identify it as Dhoni’s choice.

Dhoni has already sent a cheque for Rs 1 lakh to the authorities concerned. Agasthya will be his adoptee for one ye­ar, to start with, with the provision for an extension of the adoption period thrown in.

“Tiger, our national animal needs protection,” the Indian skipper said in a statement. “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.”

The Indian captain is currently abroad and is likely to visit the zoo on his return.
Dhoni isn’t the first Indian cricketer to adopt a tiger at the Mysore Zoo. Just over a month back, paceman Zaheer Khan did so, and before him, Karnataka boys Anil Kumble and Javagal Srinath had adopted tigers, both because of their love for wildlife and to create awareness amongst people.

Former Indian paceman Srinath, from Mysore and who is now the secretary of the Karnataka State Cricket Association, has co-ordinated the entire process.

“This is a way of telling people who are interested in saving our wil­dlife that adoption is a viable option,” Srinath said. “Hopefully, Dhoni’s move will inspire more people to follow suit.”

The money given by Dhoni will be used by the authorities for maintenance of the zoo as well as for feeding the tigers. More than the financial returns, though, wildlife aficionados and conservationists are hoping it will enhance awareness in people and trigger a trend aimed at arresting the alarming rate at which the tiger population is dwindling across the country’s reserve forests , especially given that Dhoni is riding the crest of a popularity wave following India’s World Cup triumph.