The Centre will soon establish the National Wildlife Disease Diagnostic Research and Referral Centre in Gujarat. The proposal is part of the document for Project Lion drafted in consultation with the Gujarat government and Wildlife Institute of India. Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Babul Supriyo made the announcement on Monday in the Rajya Sabha while replying to a question raised by MP Parimal Nathwani.
Supriyo said the project envisages actions aimed at averting risk of extinction of the Asiatic Lion and ensuring that its population keeps growing for generations sustaining scientific conservation management. The project also aims to ensure that local communities remain the main stakeholders and are benefitted by lion conservation.
Nathwani wanted to know whether the government has prepared a road map for implementation of the proposed Project Lion, the details of available health infrastructure in Gir to treat sick or injured lions and whether the road map includes setting up of a special Indian Council of Agricultural Research- Indian Veterinary Research Institute (ICAR-IVRI) sub-centre in Gir to cope up with emergencies like canine distemper.
As informed by the Gujarat government, two hospitals and seven rescue centres are available as health facilities in Gir for treating lions, the minister said.