Thursday, October 10, 2013

Wildlife lovers oppose move to shift lions to Lion Safari

Wildlife lovers oppose move to shift lions to Lion Safari
The Times of India

 Following wildlife lovers' clamour over Asiatic lions, director, Kanpur Zoo Kuruvilla Thomas has said that he was yet to receive any information regarding shifting of the two lions toLion Safari in Etawah. Their shifting is likely to happen in January. Stating that exchange of animals required Central Zoo Authority (CZA) approval which was time taking procedure, he ruled out possibility of fetching more lions from other zoos of the country.

Meanwhile, city-based nature lovers have objected to the shifting of lions as the pair is the centre of attraction among children. Besides, the zoo parted ways with five animals, including a rhino, a pair each of Thamin and Hyena, for the pair of lions.

Neeraj Mishra, a city-based nature-lover expressed anguish over the plan to send lions to Lion Safari. "The Kanpur zoo has sacrificed five of its animals for two Asiatic lions. The lions will be shifted to Lion Safari. The zoo should make fresh efforts to procure another pair of lions so that children are not disappointed," he said.

Reacting angrily over the news of transfer of lions to Lion Safari, Arun Bajpai, another nature-lover said, "This is not done. If the government is setting up a Lion Safari for which it requires lions, they should rope in lions from Hyderabad zoo directly instead of depriving Kanpur zoo ofAsiatic lions which is a sure shot attraction for the visitors, especially the kids."

He also mentioned that by transferring the lions to lion safari, the Kanpur zoo would lose Asiatic lions.

The zoo had lost a pair of Asiatic lions in 2010. Since then the lion enclosure remained deserted. In April, a pair of lions from Hyderabad zoo was brought to Kanpur zoo through exchange programme. The lions became a centre of attraction for the visitors. On the day of the release of the lions in the enclosure, hundreds of visitors had gathered to have a glimpse of the royal beast.

Now when the lions are to be sent to Lion Safari, the hardwork and the efforts put in for the upkeep of the lions would go waste. A series of preparations were done to accommodate the lion pair.

Not only this, a lot is being spent on the upkeep of the two lions especially after lioness Lakshmi was detected to be suffering from disease leptospirosis. Both the lions are given vitamins and other supplements apart from 8 kg meat each day.

Talking to TOI, a zoo staff said that it feels bad to know that these lions would be shifted to Lion Safari. He said that for past seven months these lions had been here and he would miss them when they would be shifted.

"There was no enclosure for the lions to reside here in zoo. The enclosure of tiger Guddu was converted into the adobe for the lions. For Guddu, a new enclosure was made in the zoo for which several thousands of rupees were spent. Also the enclosure for lions was cleaned and sterlised. The moat was repaired and painted", informed the zoo staff."

The zoo staff said that a lot of hardwork was done in sending the Rhino, Thamin deer and Hyena to Hyderabad zoo.

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