Thursday, November 27, 2014
Safari to have another pair of Asiatic lions from Gir.
The breeding centre of Lion Safari will soon get another pair of Asiatic lions from Gujarat.
The state forest department had stepped up efforts to get a pair of Asiatic lions from Gir Forest in Gujarat.
This was disclosed on Saturday by the state forest department and safari authorities. Director of Etawah Lion Safari KK Singh said : "A talk had already been initiated in this regard with the Gujarat forest department by senior officials of state. A team led by safari officials would visit Gujarat soon."
Safari authorities believe that lion Vishnu and lioness Lakshmi are offsprings of the same family. A veterinary officer said, "The immunity system of the lions of same family is quite low, so we will try to procure animals purely from the wild instead of the hybrid ones."
Lakshmi, one of the eight lions at the breeding centre in Etawah, died on Thursday.
The lioness had developed paralysis-like symptoms. Lakshmi's partner and nephew Vishnu is also showing symptoms of paralysis and undergoing treatment at the quarantine of lion safari.
Lakshmi and Vishnu brought from Hyderabad zoo, had been housed in Kanpur's Allen Forest for nearly one-and-a-half year before being shifted to Etawah on September 10.
Sources at the safari pointed out that Vishnu might be shifted to prevent other wild beasts from contracting infection.
Aman-Kumari, Heer-Raanjha and Kuber-Greeshma, the three pairs of Asiatic lions are being monitored round-the-clock by veterinarians. An exclusive breeding area had been created to house them when they arrived from Lucknow zoo to safari in the recent past.
According to wildlife activists, Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica), also known as the Indian lion, is a lion subspecies that exists as a single population in Gujarat. It is listed as endangered by IUCN due its small population. The lion population has steadily increased in the Gir Forest National Park, more than doubling from a low of 180 in 1974 to 411 in April 2010, consisting of 97 adult males, 162 adult females, 75 sub-adults and 77 cubs.
"Lion Safari is being planned to create a world-class facility for the rare and endangered guests. The exhibit for lions will feature large open spaces similar to what they have in the wild and also an exclusive sprinting area for routine exercising," a forest official said.