Next in line are two pairs of Guj lions who’ll arrive in July
After a long wait, the path for bringing two pairs of lions to Veermata Jijabai Bhosale (VJB) Udyan and Zoo at Byculla seems to have been finally cleared. According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials, if all goes as per plans, the captive lions from the Sakkarbaug Zoo at Junagadh in Gujarat would be brought to the city in July.
On Tuesday, in a function organised at Sasan Gir in Junagadh, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani handed over the certificate formalising transfer to representatives of different states to whom Gujarat is sending its captive lions. Incidentally, the Byculla zoo was represented by Chief Conservator of Forest (CCF) Anwar Ahmed who is the Director of Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP).
“I have accepted the transfer certificates on behalf of Byculla zoo for two pair of lions on their request,” confirmed Ahmed adding that he had also met several officials from Gujarat and requested them to expedite the process.
Meanwhile, a senior Byculla zoo official explained that early this month, the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) in its meeting had cleared the proposal sent by Mumbai zoo for exchange of lions, while the function on Tuesday cleared all official procedures.
“Once basic formalities, including some paperwork, is complete, our team, which includes a veterinarian and a few animal keepers, will travel to Sakkarbaug zoo to bring them to Mumbai. We expect that the lions will be brought in early July as rains are considered a good time for sifting animals as the weather is cooler,” said the official adding that these will be kept in the quarantine facility for at least two months before being released in their 2000 square meter enclosure.