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…And then the Lion Roared

It was a dream come true. The first pair of lions reached the Lion Breeding Center and Lion Safari, Etawah, on 11-04-2014. They roared on arrival.

In 2005, the then Chief Minister of the State Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav had envisioned roar of lions in Etawah. After a long journey the permission to establish a Lion Breeding Center and Lion Safari was obtained from the Central Government in 03/05/2013. Work was started on 13th May 2013. The designate construction agency, U.P. Awas Evam Vikas Parishad, worked almost round the clock to first secure the 350 ha area with a 2.6 m high boundary wall. Simultaneous work was started on the Breeding Center, Veterinary Hospital, staff quarter, road network, water, electric supply etc.

The progress of work was supervised from time to time by the Hon’ble Chief Minister himself. He not only visited the site more than once, he also regularly reviewed the progress of work and shared his vision.

The construction work progressed rapidly with a stream of experts visiting the site regularly to give their inputs to make a world class facility for breeding of lions.

With the grant of permission by the Central Zoo Authority on 07-04-2014 to shift a pair of lions from Lucknow Zoo, male lion Manan and his consort lioness Kunvari reached the Breeding Center on 11-04-2014. Indeed it was a dream come true when Manan roared on 11-04-2014 on arrival at Etawah. It was only 11 months from the time the first brick was laid on site to the time the first pair of lions reached the center. The facility now has, besides the lion breeding center, a well equipped hospital, staff quarters backed by assured water and electric supply and is manned by trained staff. An officer of the level of Conservator of Forests has been posted as Director and he is backed by a Veterinary officer along with other officials and subordinate staff.

The first part over, work now proceeds speedily to take more lions available in the Zoo’s at Lucknow and Kanpur to the Breeding Center. Also the construction of Safari Enclosure, Animal houses, Interpretation Center, Entry gates, internal road network etc is progressing. No effort is being spared to build a world class facility to serve as a model breeding center and an ideal center for watching wild animals in action from very close quarters.

The commitment of the State Government for conservation of wildlife along with the promotion of nature awareness and spread of wildlife consciousness was reiterated emphatically with the renewal of construction of the Shaheed Ashfaq Ullah Khan Zoo, Gorakhpur.

Work is going on in full swing with development of the site being currently in progress. With the investment of Rs. 5.00 crore in 2013-14 and commitment of Rs. 5.00 Crore in 2014-15, the State Government has renewed once again its commitment to wildlife conservation. The envisaged world class Zoo is expected to become a reality soon and will become a center of ecotourism in the eastern part of the State.

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