Jairam Ramesh hopes for second home for Asiatic Lions

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Sasangir (Gujarat), Jan 27 (ANI): Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh on Thursday pressed Gujarat to part with some of its lions, asserting that they should be translocated and have a second home in Madhya Pradesh.

Ramesh, who visited the Sasangir sanctuary in Gujarat's Junagadh district, the only abode of Asiatic lions, said he is hopeful that the Narendra Modi Government will agree to the proposal of having a second home for Gujarat lions in Madhya Pradesh.

"Specialists believe that there should be second home for Asiatic lions and from past so many years we are in talks with Madhya Pradesh. So, I hope that soon we would be able to open this second home," said Ramesh.

"Many specialists believe, and I got letters of scientists from America, England and Germany saying that the way in Africa and Tanzania, 1,000-2,000 lions died some 25 years ago due to some disease. So there is a danger, because the population of Gir is inbred. There is not enough genetic diversification also," he added.

Gujarat Government has rejected Jairam Ramesh's proposal on Gir Lions, saying that there is no need to shift Gir Lions out of Gujarat and that the Asiatic Lions are safe in Gir. By Hanif Khokkhar (ANI)

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