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To keep its pride intact, Gujarat, at could file review petition in SC

Hindustan Times, New Delhi, 16th April, 2013

Ahmedabad  The BJP-run Gujarat government, which opposes sharing the lions of the state, is reportedly contemplating filing a review petition with the Supreme Court against its order to shift some animals to Madhya Pradesh, where too the saffron party is in power.

"We are yet to get the judgment on the issue. We will study it and explore legal options available to us. Our considered (view) has been that Gir lions would not adapt to climatic conditions anywhere," principal secretary (environment and forests) HD Dash told HT.

"Habitat formation takes centuries and the Gir forest has emerged as the preferred habitat for lions over centuries. 

A senior official said:  "There is no epidemic threat to the lions in Gir, which is the most suitable geography where they have thrived. Secondly, one lion needs 50 sq km and the Kuno area, developed by Madhya Pradesh, has only 300 sq km for the lions, so what will happen if its population increases and that area is encircled by a tiger habitat."

"In the past 50 years, there has been only one incident of poaching in Gir while in Madhya Pradesh, the tiger population has dwindled because of poaching," he added.

Chief Minister Narendra Modi has said in a Planning Commission meeting in 2009: "Lions are the pride of Gujarat. All other states have received money for wildlife conservation we haven’t received a penny for lions.