Thursday, April 18, 2013

Gir residents do not want their lions to go

Gir residents do not want their lions to go
Times of India

The news about translocation of lions from Gir forest to Madhya Pradesh has come as a shock to the people living in and around the forest. "The people in Gir have been opposing the very idea of translocation of lions because of their emotional attachment with the animals. We feel like being amputated. There are many people here in Gir who may have been injured by the lions, but they would never want them to go away, '' Congress MLA from Talala Jasubhai Barad said.

Wildlife enthusiasts are planning to express their unhappiness over Supreme Court verdict on the translocation. "We (Gujarat) have set a good example by conserving the endangered species and will continue to do so. I am going to write a letter to chief minister Narendra Modi, urging him to file a review petition," father of slain RTI and wildlife activist Amit Jethva, Bhikha Jethava, said.

Bhikha is president of Gir Nature Youth Club, which was founded by his son in Khambha. "On Wednesday, our club members will submit memorandum in this regard in various talukas,'' he said.

"We have been fighting to save and conserve our pride - the Asiatic lions. We do not want them to be given away," Yusuf Juneja, a member of the club in Khambha in Amreli district, said. Wildlife enthusiast Chirag Acharya from Savarkundla in Amreli district pointed that Madhya Pradesh has no history of conserving the Gir lions. "We will do our best to prevent their departure," he said while pointing that people from all over the state are calling the activists to do something in this regard. A Maldhari from Patla Nes in Gir forest Dilubhai Vala said not a single lion should be separated from Gir. "I was injured by lions a few years ago while I was grazing my cattle. But we have always taken care of them," he said.

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