Junagadh: In order to fulfill Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh’s dream of building a Lion Safari at Etawah, the newly elected Akhilesh Yadav government has approached the Gujarat government to provide Asian breed of lions for the safari.

Gir National Park in Gujarat’s Junagadh is the only habitat of Asiatic breed of lions. The Uttar Pradesh government has urged Gujarat to provide a lion and four lioness or two lions and five lionesses for its lion breeding centre approved for the Lion Safari.

Giving a constitutional approval for the Lion Safari, the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) had laid down a condition to establish a lion breeding centre to boost the reproduction of lions. The CZA had made it clear that only the cubs taking birth at the breeding centre should be released in the Lion Safari so that they can easily adapt to the habitat.

150 hectares of land has been earmarked in the Fisher forest for the proposed Lion Safari out of which 50 hectares will be developed for the lion safari whereas the remaining 100 hectares will be used as a buffer zone.

Besides the breeding centre, a health centre will also be set up for the lions.  A quarantine will also be developed to separate sick lions from the healthy ones.

Also, in order to inform the tourists about the whereabouts of lions and their livelihood, an information centre will also be established in the safari.

Gujarat refuses to provide lions to Madhya Pradesh

Earlier the Madhya Pradesh government had also asked Gujarat to provide Asiatic lions for its Panna Wildlife Sanctuary which was turned down by the latter. This has prompted the Madhya Pradesh government to knock the doors of the Supreme Court for relief.

The Gujarat government in its defence had argued that MP does not have enough resources to support the habitat of the Asiatic Lions. It also said that co-existence of Asiatic lions among tigers, leopards and other ferocious animals is not possible.