Wednesday, April 04, 2012

From Aug, Gir lions will roar in Porbandar too

From Aug, Gir lions will roar in Porbandar too
DNA By Paras K Jha & Roxy Gagdekar

Gujarat's 'pride' was so far limited to Gir alone, but if plans work as per design, the big cats' roar will now echo loud and clear in Porbandar too from this August.

Eight Asiatic lions of Gir will make the Barda Sanctuary their home by August as the state forest department has decided to shift four pairs of lions in the newly-developed gene-pool centre in Barda Forest around 160 Km away from Gir.

The principal secretary, state environment and forest department, SK Nanda said: "We will be shifting lions to Barda Sanctuary very soon. It is part of our gene-pool programme for making the breed genetically very strong and to develop genetic diversity amongst big cats."

Confirming the developments, additional chief conservator of forest, HS Singh said, "We are already having gene-pool programme in Rampara vidi near Wankaner of Rajkot district. We have been successful in lion conservation programme, as three cubs have been born at Rampara vidi."

Singh said the present hot weather is not conducive for shifting the lions to a new location. "Lions find it extremely difficult to adjust to new environment. Therefore, when weather conditions become more favourable for lions post-monsoon season, we will shift them," he said.

The forest department will ensure that those shifted to Barda have different family genes. "We will be shifting lions and lionesses having different family genes for the breeding So that the genetic diversity can be maintained."

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