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Gujarat Lions to roar in Madhya Pradesh

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Thanks to Supreme Court, Madhya Pradesh will now get the Gir lions from Gujarat. The apex court has directed the Gujarat government to send some ‘Asiatic lions’ to Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno-Palpur wildlife sanctuary.

Gujarat CM Narendra Modi was reluctant to send the Gir lions to any other state, saying it would affect the lion population in his state. However, the apex court rejected that argument. Gujarat expressed fear that lions may not be safe in Kuno, but that was found trivial by the court.

The census of 2010 pegs lion population in Gir at 411. However, in the past two years, 92 lions died out of which 83 were reportedly to be natural death. The Supreme Court constituted an expert body to decide on number of lions to be relocated to Madhya Pradesh and monitor the entire relocation process.

However, the apex court refused to allow Madhya Pradesh to import Cheetahs from Africa, saying their lives will be in danger because of the presence of lions. Kuno had a sizeable Cheetah population till the early 1900s, but they were hunted down by the vested interests. The Cheetahs got extincted from India in 1952s.

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