Expand the Indian Lion's Territory
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The last remaining population of Asiatic Lions in the world are found in Gujarat-India and over the last few decades their population has been steadily increasing. Unfortunately their protected area has not been expanded and now over 40% (appx 240 Lions) live outside the protected area of Gir National Park. If the Asiatic Lion is not provided more protected territory, there is a serious threat to its entire population as genetic inbreeding has made them highly susceptible to an epidemic such as a disease outbreak, like the one that killed over a 1,000 lions in Africa (Serengeti National Park,1994). In addition, the number of unnatural Lion deaths has increased due to man-animal conflicts with a record 184 Lion deaths in Gujarat over the past 2 years. In 2013 the Supreme Court of India passed an order in favor of providing the Indian Lion a second home in Madhya Pradesh, but till date this order has not been executed. To make matters worse, the central government allowed Gujarat to reduce the protected area of Gir National Park by drastically reducing the Eco-Sensitive Zone just before the recent Gujarat elections. This shows the hypocrisy of our government which has the Lion on every currency note, parliament building, and more recently as the Make in India symbol. It is high time we give this iconic species its due space in the wild instead of monetizing its value on the zoo market - something Gujarat and the Central Zoo Authority have been very successful at.
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