Saturday, October 05, 2013

25 names shortlisted for cubs in Sasan

25 names shortlisted for cubs in Sasan
The Times of India

After villagers and Maldharis who shortlisted 25 names for the five cubs born to lioness Laxmi on May 17 this year, it is now the turn of the social media to be part of the 'naamkaran vidhi' - the naming ceremony. Of the five cubs, three are male and two female. The 25 shortlisted names have been posted on Facebook and those interested can vote for the five names they like best. The names finally selected for the cubs will be announced on October 4.

For the first time, the Maldharis and villagers from Sasan took part in the 'naamkaran vidhi' held in Sasan on Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary on Wednesday. The Wildlife Week also began in the state on the same day.

Narayanbhai Gadhvi, the oldest person to participate in the naming ceremony, was the first to pick up a name from the box. Laxman Dokadiya echoed what Gadhvi had to say about the event: "This draw of names is something which has never taken place in the past. This has created awareness among villagers and will definitely help in conservation. This event has created greater bonding among people for conservation for the lions."

Deputy conservator of forests, Sandeep Kumar, said the ceremony was attended by 1200 staff members, villagers and even Maldharis from the ness situated within the sanctuary. He said that 25 names out of the several hundred suggested by the people, had been shortlisted. The names have been posted on the social media site, Kumar said.

"Voting by people from the maldhari community such as Narayanbhai Gadhvi, Kadeli Ness; Bharabhai and family of Dudhala Ness; trackers, guides, department staff; Lakshmanbhai Dokadiya, Sarpanch of Sasan-Gir; and finally villagers was taken up and the names posted for final selection," a senior official of the forest department said. He further said that the names of the cubs finally selected will be declared on October 4 when forest minister Ganpat Vasava visits the sanctuary as part of Wildlife Week celebrations.

"We wanted to spread the word about our conservation efforts using this event," said the official. "Laxmi's mother Shyama too gave birth to five cubs on May 3, 2010, at Sakkarbaug Zoo in Junagadh but could raise only three."

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