In December, photos of Moscow Zoo inhabitants will decorate six Moscow buses and one trolleybus. The animals will include tigers, foxes, zebras, raccoons and meerkats. Each photo will include a short code number, such as 2272, for donating money to help maintain the animals via mobile sms messaging.
“People want to help animals, but not everyone has the opportunity to be a volunteer or take care of the Red Data Book animals at the Moscow Zoo. We offer those who are interested a way to text a small donation to a short code number. There is no minimum amount. The sms message will be free,” Director of the Moscow Zoo Svetlana Akulova said.
The charity drive was organised by the Moscow Zoo and the Moscow Department of Culture. The fund drive will run for two months.
According to Ms Akulova, the promotion of volunteerism and charity support for animals is common practice in most countries and typically includes advertising on public transport.
The Moscow Zoo Director added that a section will be created on the zoo website to update donators on the overall amount transferred via sms messaging and to provide reports on donation uses.
Photos of foxes, raccoons, zebras, meerkats and tigers will be seen on trolleybus No. 32 on the Garazhnaya Street–Ussuriyskaya Street route and on the following buses:
-No. 155 (Marshala Zhukova Prospekt–Filyovsky Park metro station);
-No. 105 (Sokol metro station–Dinamo metro station);
-No. 76 (VDNKh metro station –Timiryazevskaya metro station);
-No. 903 (Kholmogorskaya Street–Rizhsky Railway Station);
-No. 93 (VDNKh metro station ––Medvedkovo metro station);
-No. 116 (Tishinskaya Square–Fili metro station).
Today the Moscow Zoo has a programme for the financial support of animals through sponsorship, which includes over 120 zoo inhabitants including Samson the giraffe, raccoons, the snowy owl and more. Both individuals and companies can become sponsors.
The sum is based on the cost of daily food rations plus some maintenance costs. Donations range from a few hundred roubles to several hundred thousand roubles per month. The least expensive in terms of maintenance are small rodents, the most expensive being predators and birds. As for the costs, elephant fodder costs about a million roubles a year whereas even a school student can sponsor a small rodent, for example, a piebald shrew.
Sponsors receive benefits, including free zoo admission for the holder and one adult guest until the card expires. Sponsors can also have a plate installed on an enclosure, attend events and receive photos and reports about the animal being sponsored.