Asiatic Lions pair shifted to Indroda Nature Park in Gujarat
A pair of Asiatic lions has been shifted to an enclosure at the Indroda Nature Park in Gujarat's capital Gandhinagar for public viewing from Tuesday, officials said Monday. A 10-year-old lion, Sutra, and an eight-year-old lioness, Greeva, have been made available for viewing by visitors at the park managed by the Gujarat Ecological Education and Research (GEER) Foundation, an autonomous body under the government's forest and environment department.
The GEER Foundation has also set up a souvenir shop at the park where visitors can purchase items like wildlife magazines, books, maps, information booklet, T-shirts, caps, jackets and key chains, among others. Both the lion enclosure and souvenir shop will be inaugurated by Minister of State for Forest and Tourism Ganpat Vasava Tuesday. "The two lions have been brought to Indroda Park from Shakkarbaug Zoo in Junagadh. The male lion was rescued from Sutrapada when it was seven-month-old.
They will be kept in a 10,000 sq feet enclosure where they can roam around freely," said I K Barad, deputy director, GEER Foundation. The government also plans to set up a lion safari park on the east bank of the Sabarmati river in the state capital for which the Centre has already given permission and further requisite permissions are being sought, Barad said. The safari park will also be managed by the GEER Foundation. Following the death of several lions in recent times in the Gir forest, the only abode of Asiatic lions, the state government is taking several initiatives to conserve the big cat.
Recently, a meeting of the State Wildlife Board was held under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Vijay Rupani to discuss ways to protect the endangered species. The government has sanctioned Rs 351 crore for different works for long-term conservation of Asiatic Lions. The government also plans to set up lion safari parks in different parts of the state. As per the forest departments 2015 census, Gujarat was home to 523 lions.
(With inputs from agencies.)