Friday, April 25, 2008

Probe ordered into 'lion shows'


Probe ordered into 'lion shows'

The Hindu

Vadodara (PTI): The alleged "lion shows", in which baits are used to attract tawny coloured cats inside the Gir National Park to a certain place for tourists to see them, will be probed into, the Gujarat government on Thursday announced.

Chief Conservator of the Forests (Wildlife) Pradeep Khanna said an inquiry would be conducted into the "lion shows" that use baits for drawing tourists and action would be taken against those found guilty.

Some people were reportedly charging hefty sums from tourists for giving them a glimpse of the lions at the Park in Junagadh district.

Baits like a buffalo or cow are allegedly used to bring the lions to a particular place, where tourists can easily see them.

"I have asked top wildlife officials of the forest department to visit Gir to look into the allegations and find out the truth," Principal Secretary (Forest and Environment Department) S K Nanda said.

Meanwhile, Forest Minister Mangubhai Patel said there are no organised gangs involved in luring lions for tourists. He said there is a tendency among people to gather at spots where a group of lions feed on cattle after killing them.

However, Patel told PTI that following the reports, two district forest officials in the area have been asked to keep a vigil on the activities in the park.

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