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Apr 16, 2013 at 10:15am IST

SC gives go-ahead for relocation of Asiatic lions from Gujarat to MP

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has given its go-ahead for the relocation of Asiatic lions from Gujarat to Madhya Pradesh in the next 6 months. The two BJP-ruled states, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, had been locked in a dispute over whether the Asiatic lions should be relocated out of Gujarat or not.

The Madhya Pradesh government wanted Gujarat to send a few lions from the Gir forest to Kuno Palpur sanctuary for which crores of rupees had been spent already. But the Narendra Modi government had put its foot down, saying that lions are the pride of Gujarat and that they would not be safe in Madhya Pradesh.

Environmentalists had been arguing that on a scientific basis, the lions need to be moved out as all 300 individual tigers are found just in Gir. Should a disease strike the sanctuary, all lions would have been wiped out which is why, they said, developing a small population outside Gujarat was imperative.