Birthday boy adopts peacock
Guwahati, June 12: The world was his for the asking as Tejas turned seven today. However, instead of splurging on food, clothes, toys or all the other attractions that a seven-year-old would want to indulge in, this little one decided to adopt a peacock at the Assam state zoo.
The Rs 4,000 that Tejas Hazarika’s parents shelled out will meet the food bill of the two-year-old peacock for a year.
“The family had discussed the matter with me and I readily agreed to it under the zoo’s adoption scheme,” Narayan Mahanta, the divisional forest officer of the zoo, said.
The zoo had launched its animal adoption scheme on August 9, 2005 to create empathy for wild animals and to involve people and organisations in wildlife conservation.
But this the first time that a small boy has decided to celebrate his birthday by adopting a peacock. The programme was kept under wraps as it was a personal decision of the family.
Tejas, a Class II student of Faculty School, sang a song about nature in Assamese, much to the delight of the small audience gathered at the zoo, and cut a cake to mark the occasion.
“We spend a lot of money on birthdays but this time we thought of celebrating in a different way. Tejas loves nature and thought of adopting a peacock. This is a good way of spreading the message of wildlife conservation. I hope more people will come forward to conserve wildlife,” Tejas’ father, Priyabrat Hazarika, who works with All India Radio, told The Telegraph.
Mahanta said occasions like these, where young ones celebrate their birthdays by contributing towards nature, makes one very happy. “We feel that awareness on wildlife conservation has now reached many quarters, as a result of which people are coming forward to help in their own way,” he said.
Earlier, a Himalayan black bear, a rhino, a tiger, a peacock (excluding the one adopted today), a golden langur and a stumptailed macaque had been adopted at the zoo.
The celebration of birthdays in zoos is held with great fanfare in foreign countries. They have several programmes, including a walking tour of the zoo, feeding the animals, snacks and a special birthday gift for the child.
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