Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Etawah lion safari being revived.

Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav’s dream project — a lion safari in Etawah — is now being revived by the Akhilesh Yadav government. The project had been shelved by the previous Mayawati government.
“The project has been restarted and we are preparing the master plan. Permission in this regard has been taken from the Central Zoo Authority (CZA),” said principal forest conservator J.S. Asthana on Sunday.
The project, which was started in 2005 in Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav’s native village Sefai in Etawah district, will be spread over 50 acres of forest area in the district and was originally estimated to cost around `20 crores. The fresh cost of the projected that has been delayed by more than six years is being worked out.
The forest officials are also working towards fulfilling certain conditions that had been imposed by the CZA for the final approval of the project.
The Central Zoo Authority had asked the state government to set up a breeding centre for lions so that lions brought form outside could be mated here. “The lions brought from other states will be returned and the new- born lion cubs will be left in the safari so that they can adapt to the conditions,” the official said.
The Asiatic lions, which are facing a serious threat of extinction, will be provided a natural breeding atmosphere in the proposed safari in Sefai that is ensconced between the Yamuna and Chambal rivers. The Asiatic Lions are now confined to the Gir forest reserve in Gujarat.
Mr Asthana said that Etawah had a remarkable similarity of temperature and humidity, vegetation, ruggedness of the terrain with the Gir forest reserve and this would help in breeding lions.

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