Saturday, March 22, 2008

15 lions killed in 2 years: Govt.


15 lions killed in 2 years: Govt.

Times of India Ahmedabad Edition

Gandhinagar: Giving details on the big cat, the Gujarat government on Friday admitted that as many as 15 lions were killed over the last two years in Gujarat. Of these, six were killed in Gir forests alone. Answering a written question, state forest minister Mangubhai Patel said, “In all, 69 lions died in Gujarat over the last two years. Of these, 27 died a natural death in Gir jungles.” Fearing that the death of so many lions in Gujarat might give credence to Madhya Pradesh’s insistence to the Central government to shift some lions to the neighbouring state’s Palpur-Kuno wildlife sanctuary, the government has decided to increase the Gir forest area by 17,887 hectares. “The matter is under active consideration,” the minister said, in reply to a separate question by Babubhai Patel, BJP MLA from Daskroi, though refusing to say when this would happen. It may be noted that shifting some Asian lions from Gir is one of the major points of contention between Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. If Gujarat insists that the big cat should not be allowed to be shifted, Madhya Pradesh as also several environmentalists believe shifting is essential to save the lion from any possible disease hitting Gir.

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