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April 6, 2010

Endangered Asiatic lions of Gujarat's Sasan Gir relocated to another zoo

     Rajkot: The Asiatic lions of the Sasan Gir Lion Sanctuary in Gujarat's Junagadh district have been relocated to a newly built sanctuary in Rajkot. The newly built enclosure is called the Pradyuman Park Zoo. The Rajkot Municipal Corporation is planning to further expand the zoo by getting exotic animals from different parts of the world. Eco-friendly battery-run vehicles will also be introduced inside the zoo to keep it pollution-free. "The zoo will soon be expanded. There will be separate wings for Australian animals, African animals, birds and monkeys too. And little by little, this zoo will grow to be the best natural enclosure in whole of Gujarat and India," said Sandhya Vyas, Mayor of Rajkot. In addition to lions, visitors can also see several big cats like tigers and panthers, as well as crocodiles, rhinos and other exotic animals at the Pradyuman Park Zoo. The animals here are kept in outdoor enclosures rather than in cages. "People go to Sansan Gir to see Asiatic lions but now one can see Asiatic lions in Pradyuman Park too. It is a big zoo and there are six-seven Asiatic lions here. Also, there are tigers, bears, deers and crocodiles. I liked it a lot. One can see animals from all over India here," said Falguni, a visitor at the zoo. Asiatic lions are different from African lions, with a characteristic skin fold on their bellies and thinner manes on the males. It may be recalled that the Gujarat government has opposed the relocation of the lions from the Sasan Gir Sanctuary in the state to another demarcated reserve in Madhya Pradesh for which many villages were displaced and rehabilitated elsewhere.
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