New Delhi, March 3 (IANS) Seized from poachers and traffickers, a large quantity of wildlife articles, including leopard and tiger hides, bones and elephant ivory, were burned at a ceremony here by Union Environment Minister Anil Dave to mark World Wildlife Day on Friday.
The articles will be burned over a period of three days and an observation committee will observe the incineration process.
"One hundred leopard skins, five tiger skins, two lion skins, 1,451 snake skins, 10 elephant tusks and 30 kg of tiger bones... State governments have also been requested for symbolic incineration of seized wildlife articles on the occasion," a government statement said.
Speaking at the Delhi Zoo, Dave informed that the number of lions in Gir National Park in Gujarat stands at 522. Gir is the only national park where free ranging Asiatic lions survive.
"India has the highest number of tigers in the world and other species such as one-horned rhinoceros. Conservation of wildlife is our collective responsibility and duty," Dave said.
The minister also informed that the government has been providing financial assistance to sates to supplement their share for the purpose of habitat improvement and conservation of wildlife.
The ministry said in the statement that for Project Tiger and Project Elephant, the budget has been enhanced to Rs 522.50 crore for 2017-18, from Rs 346.38 crore in 2015-16 and Rs 475 crore in 2016-17.