Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Asiatic lion in Gir under threat from disease, says Jairam.
Asiatic lions are not safe in the Gir forest and sanctuary in Gujarat and need to be shifted from there, Union environment and forests minister Jairam Ramesh said on Thursday.
"Scientists from all over the world have written to me expressing apprehension over the spread of a disease, akin to what killed thousands of the big cats in Tanzania. It needs to be relocated partially," the minister said. "The animals can be shifted to Madhya Pradesh. I have written to the state government in this regard and it should consider the transfer," he said.
The Gujarat government, however, is not willing to shift the lions and it has made clear to the Union minister that it is taking all necessary steps to protect the animals, sources close to the development said.
The Union minister was also told about the lion gene pool programme, the sources said.