Chintan Acharya Updated: Jun 17, 2018, 04:32 AM ISTGujarat government is mulling to shift the Asiatic lions of the state from revenue areas to sanctuaries for their safe living. The government is planning to do so after an incident was reported in Gir national forests of teasing a lioness with hen. The government's efforts would be to relocate the lions in Gir Gadhada sanctuary in place of revenue area that includes villages and farms.
The shifting will be on an experimental basis as the carnivores will not be relocated forcefully in jungles, but will be done only after positive results of the trails. The minister for forest and environment department of Gujarat government Ganpatsinh Vasava said, "Shifting lions from revenue areas to sanctuaries is the only solution to stop illegal lions' shows. We have identified Gir Gadhada sanctuary as a suitable location, but we will have to make sure that big cats also find it suitable to live."
"It is difficult to relocate lions from one place to another as they are habitual to live in open fields in place of dense jungles. We will try to relocate a pair of lions in Gir Gadhada sanctuary and that will be under constant observation of our staff. If that pair successfully starts living in sanctuary area and acclimates there, we will try to shift other pairs gradually," Vasava added.
The minister said he and secretary of forest and environment department officials had visited the place and held a meeting with foresters, hotels and resort operators in Gir and police. The government has also asked the hotel managers and report operators not to entertain illegal shows.
"We have asked the hotel owners to put banners that illegal lion show is prohibited. The foresters will have a team of local police also so that they can raid the places where illegal shows are held and legal actions can be initiated against those who hold it," Vasava said.
- Government has also decided that the farmers nearby Gir sanctuary will get special assistance to increase the height of protection wall around the wells as lions have been moving in farms.
- The honorarium of Rs. 1,000 has been increased to Rs.2,000 for the volunteers who help forest staff in villages.