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
"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