Saturday, January 30, 2016

British wildlife expert visits Etawah safari

| TNN | Jan 17, 2016, 01.44 PM IST
Kanpur: Director of animal operations at United Kingdom's Longleat Safari Park, Jonathan Cracknell, visited the Lion Safari in Etawah to check the health of lions. Forest department officials said his inputs might help in checking the deadly trail of the deaths of lions at the safari. Jonathan has extensively worked on conservation of wild cat species, including lions, leopards, jaguars and tigers.

British expert met principal secretary, forest, Sanjiv Saran, besides senior forest officers including Rupak De and director of lion safari Sanjay Srivastava, and gave them tips on big cat conservation.

"Jonathan has given his precious time to understand everything here from the atmosphere, health and well-being of the animals, to educating safari authorities on the threats facing the Asiatic lion. He was fully satisfied with the arrangements here, particularly upkeep of the animals. He also visited the section where domestic animals are being slaughtered for extracting meat on which lions feed. Also, Dost Mohammad, the keeper of Jessica, has arrived at safari from Gujarat to take care of the lioness, which had exhibited sign of illness soon after the death of Tapasya. Now both Jessica and Pataudi are fine," informed director of the safari.

However, sources said Jonathan's visit was significance in view of the most recent death of lioness Tapasya, brought from Sakarbaugh zoo of Gujarat along with two other lions Pataudi and Jessica on December 28 for the breeding programme at Lion Safari, but fell ill and died on January 9 morning.

Gauging the seriousness of the recent casualty, the state machinery became active and the experts from the United Kingdom's Longleat safari park were being consulted on the line of survival of the big cats at Lion Safari-- a favourite project of chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.
"Jonathan had given valuable tips to the veterinarians including senior vet from Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Pashu Chikitsa Vigyan Vishwavidyalaya, Mathura, R N Pandey and Kanpur zoo vet R K Singh. A close vigil is being maintained by him in coordination with other veterinary doctors in the Lion safari in Etawah on the condition of lions," informed Srivastava.

Jonathan has an expertise in treating Asiatic lions. "At present he has been taking care of several Asiatic lions and other species of big cats in United Kingdom's Longleat Safari Park," informed a senior forest department official while talking to TOI. Four pair of Asiatic lions were brought in for breeding between April and September 2014. One lioness died in October, followed by a lion on November 16, both reportedly of heart failure.

Two lionesses gave birth this summer just four days apart in July. Two cubs from the first one died within 24 hours of their birth, and another two of three that were born four days later also died shortly after being born.

No comments: