You can now adopt a lion or tiger in the Nehru Zoological Park here and get an income tax exemption.
Though the zoo authorities have been making a request to organisations, business houses and individuals to adopt animals kept there, the response has been largely lukewarm. And, those who came backed out because they would get no tax exemption.
That is likely to change now. "We have been issued a PAN number from the income tax department and will soon seek tax exemption for those who adopt animals in the zoo,"Nehru Zoological Park director P Bhaskar Reddy told TOI here on Saturday.
The Nehru Zoological Park in the city, the Indira Gandhi Zoological Park in Visakhapatnam and Sri Venkateshwara Zoological Park in Tirupati all function under the aegis of the Zoo Authority of Andhra Pradesh, an independent authority.
According to Bhaskar Reddy, a number of people and business houses had come forward to adopt animals but since there was no tax exemption offered, they did not show much interest.
He said since the society has got a PAN number in September, it was now applying to the IT authorities to recognise it as a non-profitable institution. Subsequently, the accounts will be audited and a formal application for tax exemption made.
As of now only the students of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Jubilee hills have adopted the lion-tailed macaque and have been regularly paying for its maintenance.
Zoo authorities have also worked out how much an 'adoption' could cost interested candidates. Adopting a lion or a tiger could cost Rs 1 lakh per year, Rs 10,000 for a crocodile, Rs 50,000 for a chimpanzee or Rs 10,000 for five peacocks and other birds.