Sunday, January 31, 2016

CZA to probe lion deaths in Etawah safari.

TNN | Jan 31, 2016, 01.29 AM IST
Kanpur: A team of Central Zoo Authority (CZA) is likely to visit the lion safari in Etawah on February 1 following directives from the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court to conduct a spot inspection of the safari in view of the recent death of lions.

The safari officials would present a report on arrangements there. "We have been working to explain things regarding arrangements of upkeep of animals to the CZA officials. The team will also suggest us the remedial measures for conservation of Asiatic lions," said DFO Chambal Anil Patel.

The high court had recently directed the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) to conduct an inspection at the lion safari and apprise it of the circumstances under which the lions died, the cause of the deaths and suggest remedial measures. The CZA has been directed to submit its report in the next hearing on February 24. A division bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice Rajan Roy had passed the order on January 20 in response to a PIL filed by lawyer Satish Kumar Mishra.

The lion safari has till now reported eight deaths. Three adults (a lion and two lionesses) and five cubs had died.

Four pair of Asiatic lions were brought for breeding between April and September 2014. One linoess died in October, followed by a lion on November 16, both reportedly of heart failure.

Two of the lionesses gave birth this summer just four days apart in July. Two cubs from the first died within 24 hours of birth and another two of three that were born four days later died shortly after birth. Lioness Tapasya had been ill and undergoing treatment for a week before her death.

Following Tapasya's death, Jonathan Cracknell, director of animal operations at United Kingdom's Longleat Safari Park, had visited the Etawah Lion Safari to check the health of other lions on January 16.

The lion safari project, which is being developed in Fisher Forest on Etawah-Gwalior highway, was conceived in 2005 when Mulayam Singh was the chief minister.

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