Monday, July 21, 2008

Lions to roar in Ambardi: Centre announces package for new lion safari


Lions to roar in Ambardi: Centre announces package for new lion safari

Indian Express By Shubhlakshmi Shukla


Vadodara, July 20 The Central government has announced a package of Rs 5 crore for the Tourism Gujarat Corporation Limited (TGCL) and Gujarat State Forest department to set up another Asiatic Lion Safari in Ambardi area of Amreli district. The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has already issued permission in this regard.


The proposed safari will be next to the existing Devadia Lion Safari in Gir area. Ambardi is located around 18 kms from Gir sanctuary and has a suitable habitat for lions.


Bharat Pathak, Conservator of Forest, Junagadh Circle Wildlife, said: "The habitat of Ambardi is quite favourable for lions. Therefore, CZA has permitted us to set up a lion safari. Presently, there are no lions here, but they will be brought to this area after developing the place, which is still at a very nascent stage."


He further added that the Supreme Court is yet to give permission to set up yet another lion safari in Gujarat. The lions will be kept in a semi captive state as in Devadia but their numbers are yet to be decided.


"While final planning on the new safari is yet to be done, the Forest department has planned some new additions such as an orientation centre as well as education camps in this area," said Pathak.


Meanwhile, PD Vaghela, TGCL Managing Director, said: "The Ambardi lion safari is being planned to lessen the tourist burden on Gir Sanctuary." This location has satisfied all the national and international requirements. The Forest department will add final touches to it after the Supreme Court grants permission."

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