Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Asiatic lions sent to 53 zoos in 50 years.

 AHMEDABAD: Gir sanctuary, the last abode of Asiatic lions, over the last 50 years of its existence, sent big cats to 53 zoos in US, UK, Sweden, Malaysia, France, Singapore, and other countries. Three lionesses - Heidi, Ruby and Indi - in London trace their origin to Gir.

The Zoological Society of London has now sought two more pairs of lions from the Gujarat forest department. The proposal is awaiting state government's approval. "Meanwhile, the state government has already cleared similar proposals to send lions to Prague zoo situated in Czech Republic," said J S Prajapati, deputy conservator of forest, Sakkarbaug Zoo in Junagad.

AP Singh, chief conservator of forests, wildlife circle, Junagadh, said, "We also maintain an Indian National Stud Book which contains records of all Gir lions in zoos across the globe. We have sent 130 lions, captured from the wild in Gir, to various zoos across the country too. As part of the 50-year celebrations of Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, we have invited officials from all zoos across the country."

The stud-book maintains minute details about each big cat along with their names, date of birth and when they died. For example, Radhika (listed at 332 in the stud-book) and Anita (listed at 333) were born to Bijlee (a lioness) and Hemraj (lion) who were captured from the sanctuary in 1990 and 1994 respectively. The two were in Junagadh Zoo when Bijlee gave birth to Radhika and Anita on February 25, 1995.


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