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Riyaz Kadivar, veterinary doctor at the zoo, and his team have been taking care of the mothers and cubs.

The Sakkarbaug Zoological Garden is a 210-acre facility that provides pure-bred Asiatic lions for the Indian and international endangered species captive-breeding programme. Wild, free-ranging Asiatic lions have become extinct in most parts of Asia, and are now found only in and around the Gir Forest.

Zoo Director Abhishek Kumar says, “My team and the veterinary doctors worked very hard and provided the best environment for the births, which is very cheerful news for wildlife enthusiasts, especially for people who have put in efforts to save an endangered species such as Asiatic lions.”

Nirav Kumar, Assistant Director and Range Officer of the zoo, says, “We are the only breeding centre in the world for Asiatic lions, but we are also taking very good care of orphaned cubs. Right now, two cubs are under observation with the help of the veterinary doctor and his team. In the Gir Forest, the Asiatic lion population went to 674 in 2020.”

Text and images by Vijay Soneji

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