Friday, January 15, 2010

Lions for Kuno: MP reiterates demand for Gir’s wild cats

Lions for Kuno: MP reiterates demand for Gir's wild cats
Times of India

With the Supreme court slated to hear on January 12, the issue of allocation of Asiatic lions from Gujarat to Kuno Palpur in Madhya Pradesh, the neighbouring state's government has once again reiterated its demand to get wild animals for its Kuno project instead of the zoo-bred lions which have been allocated to them from Hyderabad, Delhi and Bhopal.

Officials said last year, the Supreme Court had directed the standing committee of the    wildlife board to take a stand on the transfer of lions to MP.

Howeve r, the matter was referred to the expert panel of the standing committee of National Wildlife Board.

The committee opined that MP should be allocated lions from the nature that is directly from the wild and not the zoo-bred lions for the Kuno Palpur.

The committee has said that the zoo-bred lions may be used for breeding in the breeding centre but they cannot be left out in the wild.

In addition, MP Government too has, through its forest department, sent an officials proposal to the Board raising objection against the allocation of zoo-bred lions in the name of conservation. Officials said that the MP has contended that zoo-bred lions cannot survive in the open as they are habituated to feeding rather then hunting and also a special complex would also have to be constructed for the breeding. Officials said that the area can house around 60 odd wild cats in Kuno Palpur.
Officials said that the wildlife board has tried to calm down MP by giving them these zoo-bred lions, but this would not be acceptable to MP and they would again put forward their demand for the wild cats.

Murli Krishnan, conservator of Forest, Gwalior said, "We have renewed our demand for wild animals. These animals are given to us for the breeding centre and not for the Kuno Palpur project." He reiterated that they have once again forwarded their demand for the wild animals.

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