More Fatality of Gir Lions; Death Toll Rises to 14by Opinion Express September 26, 2018 0 comments
The situation at the Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary and adjacent areas is getting worse as the death toll of the Asiatic Lions rose to 14 with three more fatalities.
All these casualties of this endangered species belonging to the cat family occurred within a span of a fortnight. Sources in the State Forest Department confirmed that two lionesses aging four and nine as well as a six-month-old cub succumbed to illness.
“Forest beat guards found carcasses of lioness in Dalkhania range of Gir Sanctuary. The cub which was found ill was brought to a rescue centre, but died during treatment,” said an official. Interestingly, two more deaths of lions registered despite the fact the State forest department has formed 64 teams to screen and shift sick lions to rescue centre to prevent further casualties of lions.
Talking to The Pioneer Chief Conservator of Forest, wildlife circle DT Vasavada prima facie the cause of deaths of two big cats seemed to be infection and some disease, but the exact reason of death would be known only after the post-mortem report.
From the first death of lion on September 12, 2018, the State forest officials are maintaining that the cause of death was infighting and territorial war amongst the lions and there wasn’t any human interference in the death of the big cats.
Around a decade ago in the year 2007, poaching of eight Asiatic Lions created lots of hue and cry over the conservation of the endangered species. The then Narendra Modi led Gujarat Government had allocated special funding to protect the lions in the Gir area.
In fact it was because of Modi’s effort to hard sell Asiatic Lions through a tourism campaign in which Amitabh Bachchan was the brand ambassador, tourists from all across the globe are pouring during winter season to see the majestic animal. The deaths would definitely impact tourism activities in the area.
Writer: Nayan Dave
Courtesy: The Pioneer