MP hasn't given up yet
Times of India By Himanshu Kaushik |
Despite getting four zoobred lions from Hyderabad, Delhi and Bhopal, the Madhya Pradesh (MP) will once again push for getting wild Asiatic lions from Gir sanctuary. Conservator of forest, Gwalior Murli Krishnan said he was in New Delhi on Monday to submit a report raising objections to the allocation of zoo-bred lions in the name of conservation.
"Zoo-bred lions can't survive in the jungle as they are habituated to being fed rather than hunting. Also, a special complex would have to be constructed for breeding," said Murli. Murli said a meeting with the additional director general of wildlife in Delhi was scheduled on Tuesday. "We will again raise the demand for wild Asiatic lions from Gujarat."
The Dehradun-based Wildlife Research Institute had felt in the 1980s that the 1,400-sq km Gir forest, with its population of over 350 big cats, was too small for housing such a large number. It also felt that concentrating the entire lion population in one place exposes it to being wiped out by disease or a natural calamity. The institute zeroed in on Kuno Palpur sanctuary and launched Asiatic Lions Reproduction Project, a Rs 64-crore centrally-funded scheme. However, Gujarat said there was possibility of tiger-lion conflict in Kuno Palpur as the two can never co-exist in the same place. A Delhi-based NGO - Bio-diversity Conservation Trust - also filed a public suit in the Supreme Court urging it to direct the Gujarat government to cooperate with Madhya Pradesh in transferring lions to Kuno Palpur. The matter was referred to the standing committee of the National Board for Wildlife which has referred the matter back to a team of experts.
'Zoo-bred lions can't live in the wild'
An expert committee appointed by the standing committee of National Board for Wildlife, has opined that Madhya Pradesh should be given lions from the wild and not the zoobred ones. The committee has said zoo-bred lions may be used for breeding in the breeding centre but they can't be left out in the wild.
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