Kuno Palpu sanctuary can house 60 Asiatic lions: MP govt
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Last Updated: Thursday, November 12, 2009, 14:38
New Delhi: Waiting anxiously to bring the 'king of the jungle' to Kuno Palpur sanctuary, Madhya Pradesh Government has claimed that the park spread over 900 sq kms can house as many as 60 Asiatic lions.

With Gujarat Government refusing to part with its "pride" from Girnar forests which is the only habitat of lions in the country, the Centre has proposed "soft release" of the zoo-bred lions in Kuno Palpur sanctuary as an alternate home to the animal.

The Centre has already identified pure-gene Asiatic lions in the Delhi and Hyderabad zoos for relocating them in Kuno Palpur with an aim to strengthen the population of the endangered species in the country.

"Almost 60 lions can be accommodated in the sanctuary having 900 sq km of buffer area. There is enough prey base as per the recent survey of the State forest department," R S Negi, State Chief Wildlife Warden said in a meeting recently with the Environment Ministry.

The State has already spend more than Rs 34 crores for developing the area as a suitable home for lions.

P R Sinha, Director of Deharadun-based Wildlife Institute of India (WII) said introduction of such animals in the wild is a long-drawn process that will take around 6-12 years.

"Only filial-2 or filial-3 (generation) of the captive-bred population could be introduced in wild through soft release and it would require strict monitoring with scientific inputs at all levels supported with strong political, administrative and financial commitments," Sinha added.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, November 12, 2009, 14:38

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