Bengal zoo authorities propose new names for lion pair caught in controversy

Photo: Evgeniyqw/Shutterstock

Kolkata: The controversy around renaming lions named Akbar and Sita has taken a new turn now. The Bengal forest department has proposed new names for the lions who were caught in the naming controversy. The lion will be renamed Suraj, and the lioness will be Tanaya. The Bengal Zoo Authority has submitted a proposal regarding this matter to the Central Zoo Authority.

This move comes after the Calcutta High Court directed the zoo to change the names of the lions, stating the names were inappropriate. Earlier, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad filed a plea with the Calcutta High Court to keep the lion Akbar and lioness Sita together. They argued that keeping Akbar with Sita in the same enclosure was an insult to Hindu beliefs.

A circuit bench of the High Court in Siliguri had questioned whether naming an animal after gods or Rabindranath Tagore was appropriate. Justice Saugata Bhattacharyya also disagreed with naming the lion Akbar, adding that Akbar was a great, secular Mughal emperor.
The Tripura government had suspended Principal Chief Conservator Prabhin Lal Agarwal for naming the lions in the zoo after gods. The lions were brought to Bengal from the Sepahijala Zoological Park in Tripura for breeding purposes. Akbar is 7 years old, and Sita is 5 years old.

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