Minister to discuss special permission for zoos to procure beef

The zoos in the STate are largely dependent on beef for feeding carnivores like tigers and lions

Minister in charge of Mysuru district S.T. Somashekar on Sunday said he would discuss with the government whether the zoos in the State could be given any special permission to procure beef for their carnivores with the anti-cow slaughter law coming into effect in the State.

The zoos, including Mysuru zoo, were largely dependent on beef for feeding carnivores like tigers and lions. With the ban, beef has been replaced with chicken.

Speaking to reporters after visiting the Mysuru zoo, Mr. Somashekar said Minister for Forests Arvind Limbavali was coming to his constituency – Yeshwanthpur – in connection with a programme soon.

“I will take up the matter with him and seek to know whether any provision can be made to ensure beef supply to the zoos having carnivores for their feeding,” he said, in reply to a query.

Civic felicitation

Mr. Somashekar said he was planning to hold a civic felicitation (Poura Sanmana) to Sudha Murthy, Chairperson, Infosys Foundation for her support to restore the Hebbal lake spending nearly ₹105 crore and also her contribution to the Mysuru zoo to the tune of ₹3 crore.

Lockdown impact

The zoo was in a crisis following its closure during the lockdown and is yet to get back the same number of visitors post-pandemic. “In recognition of her gesture, we have thought of honoring her,” he replied.

He visited the zoo today to see the works had been taken up from the contributions and check on the construction of an enclosure following a donation from the RBI and added that the works are expected to be done by March-April.

Expressing satisfaction that the footfalls are on the rise in the zoo post-pandemic, he said the zoo’s revenue was also recovering.

Animal adoption

“Whoever had adopted the animals under the animal adoption scheme during the lockdown to support the zoo financially, will be encouraged to renew their adoption in the interest of the zoo,” said the Minister, who played a key role in getting funds from his constituency and also from other constituencies represented by the Ministers in the B.S. Yediyurappa cabinet when the zoo was facing serious revenue crisis.

Gate collection

Mr. Somashekar said the zoo’s annual gate collection was around ₹59 crore which dropped to ₹17 crore because of the impact of the pandemic.

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