Next in line are two pairs of Guj lions who’ll ar­rive in July

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE - Vi­rat A Singh vi­[email protected]­

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.

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