Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Geer set to become lion’s new home

Geer set to become lion's new home
Times of India

Park Officials Get Permission To Acquire The Wild Cats Along With Sloth Bears

The roar of lions will soon be heard at the Indroda Nature Park in Gandhinagar. The Central Zoo Authority of India (CZAI) has approved a master plan for the park and authorities are set to start looking for lions and sloth bears for the sprawling forest-like campus.
Recently the park got a pair of tigers. Managed by Gujarat Ecological Education and Research (GEER) Foundation, the park officials will now approach various zoos in the country for a pair of lions and the bear.

The park has one leopard, tigers, wolves, jackals, foxes, wild asses, sambar, nilgai, swamp deer, Thamin deer, chinkara, marsh crocodile, reptiles, flamingos, pelican storks, spoonbill, Ibis among other wildlife. With the acquisition of the additional animals, the park will become a complete educational experience for schoolchildren and others.

A official told TOI, "The pair of tigers had come the Sakarbaugh Zoo in Junagadh. We are also hoping to get lions from the same zoo." In fact, Sakarbaugh has surplus lions. Indroda has already begun developing cages for the wild cats and the sloth bear. The new master plan has also made elaborate arrangements for other animals but officials said the cages would be prepared only after they get the necessary approvals.

What the officials at Indroda are hoping to do is give visitors the feel of a real forest right next to Ahmedabad and not just a zoo by acquiring a range of species and increasing the density of trees here over the years.

Sources said that in 1979 Indroda had just 93.49 hectares of dense forest against the total area of 428 hectares of land that had been earmarked for the park. But today, 384.77 hectares have been forested. In 1979, just 21 per cent of Indroda was forest which is over 89 per cent today.

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