The Atal Bihari Vajpayee Zoo in Karnataka’s Ballari district has decided to separate the male leopards from female ones to control their population, The New Indian Express reported on Monday. The move is also expected to help the zoo authorities curb their monetary losses.

A zoo employee told the daily that the number of leopards in the zoo has become a burden. Many villagers and wildlife enthusiasts rescue injured leopards and take them to the zoo, the official said. “Some of them are rescued animals, a few were born here and the number has now reached nine,” the official said. “We have been told to separate the male and female animals now.”

Deputy Conservator of Forests and Zoo Director Purushottam said there was no other way to prevent losses to the zoo. “Each of our leopards needs a minimum of 3 kg meat and there are other animals too,” he was quoted as saying. “This is pinching our pockets. The cats are multiplying at a faster pace.”

While zoos in Bengaluru and Mysuru rake in about Rs 20 lakh a day, the most that the Ballari zoo was able to make in a day was Rs 54,000, he said.