Setback for Samajwadi Party: Another Lioness dies at Lion Safari in Etawah

Setback for Samajwadi Party: Another Lioness dies at Lion Safari in Etawah


Lioness Garishma is dead.

LUCKNOW: Her death is directly linked to pride and failure of Samajwadi Party government led by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in Uttar Pradesh.

With her death, two lions, three lioness and five cubs have died in Mulayam’s dream project Lion Safari situated in his home district Fisher Forest of Etawah. Such is the concern about these animals that Mulayam even raised the issue in last session of parliament stating that his lions have died which were given by Modiji (then CM of Gujarat) and even went ahead asking the government to inquire in the matter.

Lion Safari at Etawah is Mulayam’s dream project who during his previous tenure as chief minister of UP had announced it with a corpus of Rs five crore. The project was shelved during BSP regime but Akhilesh Yadav revived it soon after taking power in the state. Intially Ministry of Environment and Forests in central government refused permission but later granted approval. Since then nearly 50 crore have been spent and another corpus of Rs 100 crore has been created for the purpose.

And now the lions—UP government managed to get nine lions from Gujarat’s Gir from Rajkot and Junagarh and two from Hyderabad. So far, five of them have died. Another five cubs were still born or died soon after their birth.

Akhilesh government pulled up all resources including experts from the country and even from UK and Botswana. Senior forest officials were deputed at Safari and were even given marching orders with the death of lions. Zoo minister even visited London for getting ideas about development of Safari.

The animals are given utmost care with RO purified water, their food tested for contamination, temperature maintained in their cage and round the clock medical assistance. Still, they could not survive raising question about the viability of the project and its fate with change of guard.

These lions also found mention during previous Lok Sabha elections with Modi and Akhilesh raising them. Modi claimed that SP government cannot treat them while Akhilesh claimed that he too has given several animals in exchange.

Whatever is the outcome but the failure of Lion Safari project is surely a matter of SP’s pride which in coming days is unlikely to see the light of the day.