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Activists protest against canned lion hunting

Activists protest against canned lion hunting
Highlights

About 60 wildlife enthusiasts gathered near KBR Park on Friday to raise awareness among the general public on canned lion hunting industry in South Africa and to protect the lions and tigers in India. The participants of the silent protest included students from St. Francis College, Villa Marie College, Hyderabad Central University, Osmania University, as well as working professionals

About 60 wildlife enthusiasts gathered near KBR Park on Friday to raise awareness among the general public on canned lion hunting industry in South Africa and to protect the lions and tigers in India. The participants of the silent protest included students from St. Francis College, Villa Marie College, Hyderabad Central University, Osmania University, as well as working professionals

Imran Siddiqui of Hyderabad Tiger Conservation Society (HytiCoS), who was the chief guest at the silent protest, said, “We are running out of time; we must save these animals. As per the last census performed in 2010, Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary in western Gujarat has 411 Asiatic lions. Gir is the last remaining home for the species. In-breeding has severely weakened their genetic diversity, and at least 100 hotels and guest houses have illegally popped up in the sanctuary’s buffer-zone in Junagadh, Amreli and Gir-Somnath districts.”

A silent protest was staged by around 60 wildlife activists at KBR Park on Friday

The third Global March is being held in nine Indian cities. Visala Kantamaneni, one of the organisers of the march, said, “Canned hunting is a legal practice in South Africa where lions are bred in captivity, only to be hunted and killed as trophies. Lion cubs are hand reared for the petting industry and, when grown and accustomed to human contact, are confined (often drugged) and gunned down. Only 20,000 lions now exist in the wild and are being threatened by the demand for lion bones.” She added that the previous Global March held in 2014 was to spread awareness on elephants and rhinos.

Imran Siddiqui and Visala explained about the tiger and lion conservation issues to the school kids and people passing by. Tiger census not correct The organisers of the march said that the recent tiger census was not correct and the methodology for the census was questionable. Contrary to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)/Project Tiger in their report, ‘Status of Tigers in India’, estimating an increase of 30 per cent in tiger numbers from 1,706 in 2010 to 2,226 in 2014, India has seen no such increase. Scientists from the University of Oxford, Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) criticised the method adopted by the census for being inaccurate.

There are now only 3,200 tigers left in the world. The species is heavily poached for use in south-east Asian medicines, and poisoned due to human-tiger conflict. The urge of successive governments for senseless development, attempts of dismantling forest laws and massive deforestation were also raised. Around 300-400 lions are left in Gujarat that are living on the edge. Despite Supreme Court orders the Gujarat government is unwilling to part with some lions to neighboring Madhya Pradesh for increasing the range of lions.

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