No plan to relocate Asiatic lions of Gujarat: Forest Conservator

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Junagadh, Gujarat, Feb 16 (UNI) There have been no plans to relocate the famous Asiatic lions at the Gir National Park and Sanctuary, as speculated by a section of wildlife activists and the media, state Forest Conservator Chief Pradeep Khanna has said.

Mr Khanna was commenting on the speculations in media and wildlife circuit that the State Government has planned to transfer the lions to Madhya Pradesh.

Mr Khanna also visited forest of Girnar and reviewed the steps taken to ensure that the incidents of poaching do not take place in this world famous sanctuary.

The Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, had worked out a plan in early nineties to transfer some of the lions to the Palpur Kuno Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh to insulate lions against outbreak of epidemics, enemy attack or any natural calamity which, it was feared, could wipe out their entire lion population.

Adjoining Barda forest range has also been cited as a possible relocation site for many years.

The Gujarat government has been, however, opposing relocation of the lions to Madhya Pradesh or anywhere outside the state by saying that the lions are an exclusive heritage of the state and part of its cultural identity.

UNI XR-HT RN GL RN1904

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