Actor Vijay Sethupathi reveled his love for animals by adopting two white tigers from the Arignar Anna Zoological Park, in Chennai’s Vandalur on Saturday.
According to a report in the Times Of India, the actor adopted the five-year-old male white tiger Adithya and the four-and-half-year-old Arthi, during a simple function held on the occasion of World Wildlife Day at the zoo. He handed over a cheque for Rs 5 lakh to zoo officials for the maintenance of the tigers for a period of six months. Zoo director Yogesh Singh and deputy director Sudha Ramen received the cheque.
Speaking to the press about the adoption, the actor said, “It gives one the feeling of going to a forest while being in the city. There are many animals here that are not present in other Indian forests. There is a safari too. People can keep coming back. The main reason is to enjoy the innocence of the animals. Come with your children. It’s jolly and useful. It is not necessary that everybody donates Rs 5 lakh, they can give whatever small amount is possible for them.”
“I will adopt some other animal after six months. Members of the public can contribute small sum and adopt any bird, reptile or a huge animal like the lion, tiger or leopard,” he further appealed to visitors.
A report in The News Minute said that Vijay Sethupathi’s adoption was the first one of the year. Under the animal adoption programme introduced by the zoo in 2010, around 159 individuals, private companies, government undertakings and banks have adopted animals. Over Rs 71 lakh has been donated.
Actors Suriya, Karthi and Sivakarthikeyan have come forward to contribute to the programme. Yogesh Singh, the director of the zoo, said that those interested in conservation of wild animals could take a step forward by adopting them. Based on the amount contributed, adopters are categorised as diamond, gold, silver and bronze. They receive a certificate and receipt for adoption by e-mail. The amount spent is eligible for income tax exemption under Section 80G.