October 7, 2016 12:55:10 am
WITH FIVE cubs, two lions and lionesses each dying at the upcoming Etawah Lion Safari since 2014, there was a moment of joy for authorities as lioness Jessica gave birth to two cubs early Thursday. The day also saw Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav — whose pet project is the safari — at Etawah inaugurating the Deer Safari at Reserve Fisher Forest. The ninth lion at the safari had died in June, this year.
Confirming the birth of cubs, Etawah Lion Safari Deputy Director Anil Kumar Patel said the cubs are healthy and under observation. “We are taking all precautions on the birth of the two cubs… The CM too was informed before he arrived in Etawah to inaugurate the deer safari,” he added. Akhilesh, meanwhile, inaugurated the Deer Safari which currently has 20 chitals (spotted deers) and five Sambars — a large deer native to the Indian subcontinent, southern China and Southeast Asia. More varieties of deer would be shifted from Lucknow and Kanpur zoos in the coming days, said safari authorities.
The safari has come up over an area of 34 hectares and is located close to the Lion Safari. A veterinary hospital and fodder plot has been developed within the premises for the animals to feed. Patel said the Deer Safari will not be thrown open for visitors immediately. “For around three weeks, we will monitor the activity of the animals. Thereafter, a Central Zoo Authority of India team will inspect the safari to give a feasibility (final) report. Visitors will be allowed entry only after that. It could probably be by the end of next month or first week of December,” he added.
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