Tamil actor Vijay Sethupathi revealed himself to be an animal lover on Saturday, adopting two white tigers from the Arignar Anna Zoological Park, in Chennai’s Vandalur. The actor visited the zoo and handed over a cheque worth Rs 5 lakh to the authorities for welfare of the animals.
According to a report in the Times of India, the actor adopted a five-year-old male white tiger Adithya and the four-and-half-year-old Arthi. Speaking to media persons at the Zoo, Vijay Sethupathi urged the public to visit the zoo and contribute in their own way.
“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,” he said, adding that people could visit the zoo just as they would visit the beach or a shopping mall.
Yogesh Singh, the Director of the Zoo, informed the media that the money donated by the actor would be spent on maintaining and feeding the two tigers. Sudha Raman, the Deputy Director of the Zoo, added that Vijay Sethupathi's was the first adoption of the year. According to the newspaper, since the inception of the adoption programme at the zoo, over Rs 71 lakh has been donated.
According to the Animal Adoption Program of the zoo, launched in 2009, members of the public can adopt any animal by paying for their daily feeding charges. As per zoo authorities, over 150 individuals, corporate companies, government departments and banks have adopted animals over the past 10 years, donating towards their welfare.