Asiatic Lions: New reserve on the anvil
NDTV.com By Jay Mazoomdaar
But now the Centre has prepared a fresh blueprint for a backup that won't require
The 11-year wait for a second home for the endangered Asiatic lion at Kuno-Palpur in Madhya Pradesh will soon be over.
The National Tiger Conservation Authority and the Central Zoo Authority have a fresh plan ready.
''We will select pure bred Gir lions from different zoos and these first generation lions will breed in a big natural enclosure which is already there at Kuno-Palpur. We will release herbivores for the second generation lions so that they can hunt and get naturalised. In this process, the third generation lions should be fit to be released in the wild outside the enclosure,'' said Dr Rajesh Gopal, Member Secretary, NTCA.
The blueprint will be discussed at the next meeting of the National Board for Wildlife on October 8. Once approved, it will be about four years before the third generation lions can be released in the wild.
But the initiative may raise eyebrows, considering
''We are identifying pure gene lions and they will be kept off display and bred in natural enclosures with prey species. And the tigers in Chinese farms are victims of severe inbreeding and can hardly be called tigers,'' said Dr B R Sharma, Member Secretary, CZA.
Kuno-Palpur was selected in 1996 as a second home for the lions but the
''Forget poaching, even an epidemic can wipe out an isolated population. So the idea of a second reserve at Kuno but the
If all goes well, the Kuno-Palpur sanctuary will be the Asiatic lion's second home by 2011, unless the Modi government now objects to the very idea of having lions outside