Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Kuber, Greeshma reach their new home in Lion Safari.
Kanpur: Another pair of Asiatic lions arrived in Lion Safari in Etawah from Lucknow Zoo on Tuesday. The eight lions (four males, four females) were brought from Gujarat's Junagadh and Hyderabad zoos.
National Chambal Sanctuary's district forest officer Aniruddh Patel said: "Asiatic lion is a heavy animal, with adult male weighing around 160 to 190 kgs, while female weighs around 110 to 120 kgs. So, we made necessary arrangements and took precautionary measures in shifting the pair to Lion Safari in Etawah. They were transported to the Lion Safari via road."
Lion Safari has already made arrangements to house these new animals. Sources said that a team, including two veterinary doctors and a keeper, is taking care of newly-arrived pair. "The lions will be kept in quarantine for a month amidst strict monitoring," safari director KK Singh.
The pair has been kept separately at the breeding centre so they could adjust in the local atmosphere. "Except keeper, no one would be allowed to venture near the pair named Kuber and Greeshma. They arrived at Lucknow zoo from Junagadh zoo in Gujarat about four months ago. The two would be kept separately for a few days," said a senior official.
The state had procured four pairs of Asiatic lions from Hyderabad and Rajkot zoos in the past. With the shifting of one more pair, two pairs are now left at Lucknow zoo and the other pair is housed in the Kanpur zoo.
The work which was initiated in 2005 by the Samajwadi Party government had come to standstill after the Bahujan Samaj Party came to power. It was revived after SP formed the government in March 2012.
Some 150.83 hectares in Fisher Reserve Forest area on Etawah-Gwalior National Highway was acquired and notified as Lion Safari in 2005.
However, it was shelved by the Mayawati government in 2007. It was again revived after Samajwadi Party came back to power in March 2012.
The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests approved the master layout plan of the project in December 2012.
The state government had sanctioned Rs 89 crores for the Lion Safari project and authorized the Uttar Pradesh Awas Vikas Parishad for the construction and execution of the safari.
June 2015 has been set as a deadline for the completion of the project.