Mumbai, Sep 27 (IANS): In a major initiative, Maharashtra will exchange a pair of tigers from Mumbai with a pair of Asiatic lions from Gujarat's Junagadh, Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said here.
The decision was arrived at during Mungantiwar's visit to the neighbouring state and discussions with his Gujarat counterpart Jagdish Vishwakarma on Monday.
The lion pair - a male and female - are currently housed at the Sakkarbaug Zoological Gardens in Junagadh, while the tiger pair is presently resident in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in Mumbai.
After the meeting, the two states' ministers have decided to jointly seek the approval of the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) for the project.
The initial discussions for the project were conducted by Maharashtra's Principal Chief Chief Conservator of Forests Sunil Limaye with the Sakkarbaug Zoological Garden Director Abhishek Kumar and others.
Similarly, the state's Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and SGNP Director Dr G. Mallikarjun also held meetings with Gujarat officials to hammer out the nitty-gritties.