Supreme Court allows trans-location of Asiatic lions from Gujarat's Gir sanctuary to MP

The Supreme Court today allowed trans-location of Asiatic lions from Gujarat's Gir sanctuary to Madhya Pradesh. The court said that the species is under threat of extinction and needs a second home.

A bench of Justices K S Radhakrishnan and C K Prasad has given six months time to the wildlife authorities concerned for trans-locating the lions.

The Gujarat government has been fighting a legal battle in the apex court against trans-location of lions in the wake of a PIL seeking their trans-location to Madhya Pradesh.

Currently, there are around 400 Asiatic lions in Gir sanctuary.

The apex court also said the introduction of African cheetahs in India from Namibia cannot be allowed, as primacy should be given to preservation of critically endangered native species, like the wild buffalo and the Great Indian Bustard.

The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) had proposed the introduction of the African Cheetahs in the country under its Rs 300 crore Cheetah Reintroduction Programme.

The apex court, in May last year had stayed the implementation of the project.

The issue of relocating cheetahs from Namibia was raised before the court during a hearing on trans-location of Asiatic lions , after a decision taken by the National Board for Wildlife (NBW).
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