Lucknow, Feb 28: A pair of lions named Pataudi and Marium are all set to roar at the Gorakhpur zoo, which is likely to be inaugurated by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in March, an official statement said on Sunday. While Pataudi was brought from the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat, Marium was shifted from the Lion Safari Park in Etawah. The duo arrived on Sunday morning, it said.
However, the move evoked strong response from Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav who termed the shifting of the big cats as an effort to end Etawah’s tourism industry. Named after freedom fighter Ashfaqullah Khan, the Gorakhpur zoo is a pet project of the chief minister and its construction has completed.
Wild animals such as cheetah, leopard, hippopotamus, deer, jackal and python have already arrived at the zoological park which will prove to be a milestone in the development of tourism in Purvanchal, the statement said. Built at a cost of Rs 260 crore, the zoo has an indoor butterfly park in which various species of butterflies will be seen. Besides, the serpentarium has various rare species of snakes and in the coming days, the visitors will also see an Israelian zebra, it said.
The zoo has a 40-seater 7D theatre and a toy train will run inside soon. Besides visitors, the toy train will be facilitating elderly people to go around the zoo, the statement said. This will be the first zoo having a huge wetland of 30 acres where more than 60 local and migratory birds can be seen, the statement said, and added that a one district one product (ODOP) showcase has also been designed at the entrance of the zoo where visitors will get a chance to know more about these products.
Besides the zoo, seaplanes will soon be operated in the Ramgarh Taal and an international water sports complex is also being constructed in Gorakhpur, it said. The SP, however, opposed the shifting of the lions. “Sending the lions of Etawah Lion Safari to Gorakhpur is an attempt to end the tourism industry of Etawah. SP is with the people of Etawah to save the employment in Etawah and opposing the shifting of lions,” Yadav said in a tweet in Hindi.
“The BJP government should make alternate arrangements for lions in Gorakhpur,” he added.
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