Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Fearing inbreeding, Jairam wants Asiatic lion relocated.

Saying there was threat of inbreeding among the Asiatic lions at Gir, Union Environment Minister and Forest Jairam Ramesh, who is on a two-day visit to the sanctuary, Thursday called for relocating them to Palpurkuno Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh. Gir is the Asiatic lion’s only home.
“We would be happy to see a second home for Asiatic lions in MP. I have written to the state government about this. It should consider this,” Jairam said.
The minister maintained that though Gujarat’s “sentiments for the lions are understandable, the threat should not be ignored”.
“They (the Gujarat government) think the lion is a state animal. They might not be wrong.... But then there is a threat. Scientists have written to me (about the threat of inbreeding). Thousands of lions have died in Tanzania and Africa (due to inbreeding). And it could be possible here also,” he said. 

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