Editorial | New Delhi
March 26, 2017 | 01:59 AM
What is also evident is that the Gir’s “protected sanctuary zone” is unable to sustain the present populace and the lions have to look beyond it for prey upon which to feed, and that has aggravated the man-animal conflict. The local authorities are not in favour of expanding the sanctuary zone as that would be unacceptable to people living there. Further complicating the “stand-off” is the state government’s reluctance to accept the proposal ~ endorsed by international agencies ~ to re-locate some lions to the Kuno-Palpur forest in Madhya Pradesh, which expert studies have found suitable for “creating” a second habitat which might also improve the genetic strain. Though the central government and the apex court have supported re-location, the Gujarat authorities keep raising objection. A section of critics allege that when he was chief minister in Gandhinagar, Mr Narendra Modi had been in the forefront of the resistance to re-location: now that he calls the “national shots” will he look beyond narrow boundaries to reinvigorate the lion population? Surely 160 lion deaths should serve as shock therapy.