ANDHRA PRADESH

Maratha lions find a home in Tirupati zoo

THE ROAR: Two Maratha lions have a new shelter at Tirupati zoo.  

Staff Reporter

TIRUPATI: Nature's fury knows no limits. The recent floods on the west coast that left thousands homeless in Maharashtra did not confine its rage to humans. Some animals too had to bear the brunt.

With the floods ravaging the Pratap Singh Udyan Zoo in Sangli (Maharashtra), the zoo management immediately got shifted all animals and birds to the Pune zoo.

However, the lions, categorised as Schedule-I animals, were not moved out as it needed permission from the Central Zoo Authority.

NGO initiative

However, with the initiative of the Wildlife SOS, an Agra-based voluntary organisation working for the cause of wildlife, the process of shifting them was set into motion.

Noticing that water had almost entered the lion's enclosures, representatives of the NGO wrote to CZA to intervene, basing on which the latter issued orders to the authorities concerned there to shift the animals to the rescue centre in Tirupati zoo.

The two male and three female lions (aged between 14 and 16 years), which reached Tirupati recently, are presently housed in the lions' enclosure and will be moved to the Animal Rescue Centre (ARC) soon, to be kept away from public viewing. With this, the strength of the ARC will increase to 46 lions, besides a tigress and a panther each.

The lions, fatigued by the floods and the tiresome journey, are said to be recovering now.