Mumbai: Gujarat polls delay arrival of Asiatic lion to SGNP
Code of conduct in Gujarat, and fresh requests needed in case of new govt, delays long-pending acquisition
It could be another year before the Sanjay Gandhi National Park gets a new lion from Gujarat. Thanks to the code of conduct in place in Gujarat, authorities from the Sakkarbaug zoo have said they cannot respond to the request letter from SGNP authorities. The SGNPâÂÂauthorities have been requesting Gujarat for a year now.
Speaking to mid-day, an official from SGNP, who did not wished to be named, said, "For over a year, we have been constantly following up with the Sakkarbaug zoo as we want to exchange two Rusty Spotted Cats with a lion, but something or the other seemed to happen and now not only has the director of the zoo been transferred but the election code of conduct is in place in Gujarat, so we are unable to get in touch with the authorities."
Under the circumstances, SGNP may also have to send a fresh proposal for the same. The other major hurdle is that the authorities will have to wait till the new chief minister is sworn in after government formation. "The Sakkarbaug zoo authorities had told us earlier, too, that the final proposal would have to be cleared by the chief minister," another official said.
Currently, there are three Asiatic lions at SGNP, which includes the old lion Ravindra and two young lions named Jespa and Gopa.
As Jespa and Gopa are siblings, mating between the two is neither allowed nor encouraged because of chances of genetic issues occurring. SGNP director Anwar Ahmed was unavailable for comment.
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