Enthused by Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra's gesture to 'adopt' a tigress, the authorities at Birsa Zoological Park are hoping cricket captain and Ranchi boy M.S. Dhoni will do the same.
"We are going to write a letter in a day or two to Dhoni requesting him to adopt a tiger named Sugriv. Dhoni is from here and internationally acclaimed. If he adopts a tiger, then it will help in conservation and protection of wildlife, particularly tigers," P.K. Verma, director of Birsa Zoological Park, told IANS.
If someone adopts an animal at the zoo, he or she is responsible for its upkeep.
Actress Priyanka Chopra adopted the tigress Durga for a year. The period of adoption began May 1. She has already given Rs.2.24 lakh to the zoo authorities for its upkeep.
The Ranchi zoo authorities started the adoption programme for two reasons - to create awareness among people about wildlife and to mop up resources.
"Adopting an animal is different from being a brand ambassador. Dhoni can adopt a tiger considering the declining number of tigers in Jharkhand," said Verma.
In Betla National Park, the number of tigers declined from 42 to 17 in 10 years. Following this, Jharkhand wanted Dhoni to become a brand ambassador for the state's tigers to create awareness about conservation. But with Uttarakhand, the state from which Dhoni's ancestors hail, also wanting the same, this created a controversy.
There has been a good responses to the zoo's adoption programme.
The Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) has adopted three elephants - Ramu, Samrat and Lakhi - for five years and has paid Rs.35.88 lakh to the zoo authorities for their upkeep.
The Punjab National Bank (PNB) has adopted all seven peacocks in the zoo for five years and paid Rs.1.85 lakh.