Mumbai’s Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) has acquired a pair of young Asiatic Lions from the Sakkarbaug Zoological Park (SZP) at Junagadh from neighbouring Gujarat.
The male and female lions, aged three, were acquired under an animal exchange programme. The SZP has in exchange received a pair of tigers, Bajrang (6 years old) and Durga (3 years old), from the SGNP administration.
The barter deal between the SGNP and SZP came after the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) green lit the exchange after the death of 17-year-old lion Ravindra on October 17, 2022.
Early in November, Maharashtra Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar told PTI, "The lion safari at the national park was fetching good tourist footfall. With a new pair of lions, we are hopeful of receiving more visitors. There is a 12-hectare compound at the SGNP reserved for lions. The safari started in 1975-76, helping the park's earnings to soar.”