Highest of 27,62,732 visitors at Mysuru Zoo; Bannerghatta Biological Park tops revenue with Rs. 42,68,86,415
Mysuru: The nine Zoos governed by the Zoo Authority of Karnataka (ZAK) have had a footfall of 52,77,013 visitors from April 1, 2022, to Dec. 31, 2022, yielding a gate collection and photography charges revenue of Rs. 75.72 crore.
Among the Zoos, the Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens or the Mysuru Zoo saw a footfall of 25,05,514 visitors, recording a revenue of Rs. 24,76,91,745. The Karanji Lake Nature Park adjacent to the Mysuru Zoo saw a footfall of 2,57,218 visitors during the same period, collecting a revenue of Rs. 1,45,68,300.
The details were provided at a press conference held by ZAK Chairman M. Shivakumar at the Zoo premises yesterday along with Mysuru Zoo Executive Director Ajit M. Kulkarni and ZAK Members Gokul Govardhan and Jyothi Rechanna.
Overall, the Mysuru Zoo earned a revenue of Rs. 26,22,60,045. Topping the revenue chart is the Bannerghatta Biological Park in Bengaluru which saw a footfall of 16,12,721, earning a revenue of Rs. 42,68,86,415, he said.
“Though the Mysuru Zoo saw the highest number of visitors from April 1 to Dec. 31, 2022, the Bannerghatta Biological Park has topped in the income front as the Park has a wildlife safari which is an added attraction and a revenue-grosser. “Over 5.24 lakh visitors came to the Mysuru Zoo from Dec. 1 to Dec. 31, 2022 which itself is a record in recent years,” Shivakumar explained.
Additional funds sought
All the Zoos in Karnataka faced a crisis situation including the COVID pandemic and even at the Mysuru Zoo and the Bannerghatta Biological Park which usually see good gate collection saw a decline in revenue as entry was banned. Somehow, the Zoos managed survival and aid too flowed into the Zoos from various quarters, Shivakumar said.
Separate funds have been sought from the State Government to manage the Zoos as now there is an increased human-animal conflict and crores of rupees are being spent on animal rescue, treatment and other allied costs. “We are spending an additional Rs. 7 crore to Rs. 8 crore at Mysuru Zoo, Bannerghatta Biological Park, Atal Bihari Vajpayee Zoological Park at Hampi, Gadag Zoo, Tiger and Lion Safari in Shivamogga treating and providing care to the rescued animals from the wild,” he added.
Budget of Rs. 115.31 crore
The ZAK has approved a budget of Rs. 115.31 crore for 2022-23 and there has been a cost escalation of Rs. 30 crore. A proposal has been sent to the State Govt. to release additional grants. “In 2022, over 5,557 animals were adopted by public and Rs. 1.61 crore has been collected on this front,” Shivakumar said.
ZAK Member-Secretary B.P. Ravi said that steps have been taken to set up an Information Centre at the Mysuru Zoo as per the Zoo Master Plan.
“We are restricting the number of animals in the Zoo as per the Master Plan and to balance the population, deer that are in excess are being systematically translocated to other Reserve Forests,” he added.