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Saturday, September 26, 2020

Gujarat Chief Wildlife Warden gets notice over ‘objectionable’ lion comment

The show-cause notice was issued by the office of the additional chief secretary (forests and environment) Rajiv Kumar Gupta.

By: Express News Service | Gandhinagar | August 14, 2020 1:12:35 am
He warned that the current conservation strategy of relying on tolerance of communities was like “sitting on a time bomb”. (File)

The Gujarat government has taken serious note of some “objectionable”, “undesirable” and “irresponsible” comments made by Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) and Gujarat Chief Wildlife Warden Shyamal Tikadar regarding conservation of Asiatic lions in the state and issued him a notice as per All India Service (Conduct) Rules, while also seeking his explanation.

The show-cause notice was issued by the office of the additional chief secretary (forests and environment) Rajiv Kumar Gupta.

As reported by The Indian Express, Tikadar made the comments at a webinar on conservation of Asiatic lions organised by the Central Zoo Authority on August 10. He said that policy-makers should start looking at Asiatic lions as a “resource” which local communities can “earn money from”, and that around 80 per cent of the Asiatic lions were not “wild per se” as they are micro-chipped. He also warned that the current conservation strategy of relying on tolerance of communities was like “sitting on a time bomb”.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests & Head of the Forest Force (PCCF & HoFF) D K Sharma, in a statement said, “Asiatic Lion is not only the pride of Gujarat State but the pride of the whole nation… Gir, in Gujarat State is the last abode of Asiatic Lion and the conservation efforts of the State Government have been a great success.”

Tikadar refused to comment on the show-cause notice served on him.

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