Monday, January 08, 2007

Asiatic Lion; Human Animal Conflict

In a stunned Gir village, attack by four lions leaves two injured

Sibte Husain Bukhari



First time that lions have entered human habitat, attacked people


Junagadh, January 7: The appearance of four lions created havoc on Sunday morning in the small village of Derwan in Gir area even as the animals mauled two villagers, including an eight-year-old boy. The mayhem continued for about 15 minutes before the animals retreated into the forests.


The injured, Bogha Rana (55) and Bhavdeep Hamir (8), are under treatment in Junagadh Civil Hospital. Boghabhai said, "I was walking towards a farm when I saw a lion approaching me and before I could react, the animal pounced on me.”


"I tried to escape, people were shouting. Two persons came to my rescue, by then the animal retreated," he said. Little Bhavdeep was too dazed to speak. According to details, he and his father Hamir Bhati were walking towards a shop when the boy was attacked. Hamir said, "I pelted stones and shouted loudly. A few stones hit the animals and the lion freed my son.”


"Four lions entered the village from four different directions. They terrorised us for nearly 15 minutes," says Balsingh Bhati, village sarpanch.


Range Forest Officer (Girnar north range) S K Jadeja said as soon as they received the message their beat guards rushed to the spot and ensured no lions were in the area. Jadeja along with his 15 members of his staff camped in the village and scanned the area. "Compensation will be paid to the injured person according to nature of the injury. This is a rare incident in which a group of lions has attacked humans," Jadeja said.


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