The Lion Breeding Center & Multiple Safari Park is situated in the historical “Fisher Forests” located on the Etawah-Gwalior Road, about 5 kms from Etawah City. In 1884, the erstwhile District Adminitration of Etawah, Mr. J.F. Fisher was able to convince the zamindars of the area to voluntarily hand over the ravine area of 1146.07 ha to the District Magistrate so that it could be saved from further erosion and degradation. Accordingly, the area was ploughed and seeds of babool (Acacia nilotica), shisham (Dalbergia sissoo), and neem (Azhadhiracta indica) were sown and the area was closed for grazing.

The growth of babool was so encouraging that in 1912, Cooper Allen Company of Kanpur was attracted to take the entire land at a lease rent of Rs. 2.50 per hectare per year for a period of 50 years. This company commercially exploited and extended the Fisher Forests till the year 1914. Thereafter, the company handed over the lease land to the Forest Department with a liability of Rs. 2,500 as the cost of the lease and Rs. 2,382 lease rent to be paid to the zamindars annually. In this way, these forests have been under the control of the Forest Department since 1914.

Two kinds of activities were undertaken by the Forest Department in the following years; firstly, construction of check dams to prevent soil erosion and secondly, plantation and seed sowing of appropriate species. In course of time, broad leaved forests were established in the area. However, due to high biotic pressure, the broad leaved species gradually deteriorated, and eventually the area ended up being severely eroded and degraded. In the year 1985 and subsequent few years, broadcast sowing of Prosopis juliflora was undertaken. As a result, the density of P. juliflora increased and the area was converted into a P. juliflora forest with sporadic occurrence of other species.

The Asiatic Lion (Panthera leo persica) which once roamed and reigned all over northern, western and central Indian forests (from Hindukush to Bay of Bengal and up to Narmada river). The historical records indicate that in northern India, the last area, held by the migrating lion was the forests in Yamuna river catchment until medieval times as the Mughal emperors shot lion in Shivalik foot hill forests (now Saharanpur forest division) and Aravali ridge forests around Delhi. As per imperial gazetteer of India (united Provinces of Agra and Awadh vol 1-1908) the last specimen of lion was killed at sheorajpur in Allahabad now Prayagraj district in 1864. While Shivalik foothills were occupied by Tigers because the habitat there remained conducive but down below as human population grew, man-animal conflict increased and entire prides of lions were wiped out, coupled with depleting prey base and habitat loss, only a small population of Asiatic lion remained in the wild, at Gir Forests of Gujrat in kathaua area.

        From conservation point of view, the establishment of Lion Safari will serve the dual purpose of making it a breeding centre for Asiatic lion as well as replicating a wild population of the bye gone era in its former range of habitat, though in captivity but nearly free.


Etawah Safari Park

  •   Etawah-Gwalior Road, Etawah
  •   Uttar Pradesh, India, 206001

  •   +91 7839435094

  •   dirlsetawah@gmail.com

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