Monday, February 26, 2007

Open wells claim lives of two Asiatic Lion cubs and one leopard in Gir

Source: Translated from Gujarat Samachar Date: 26-2-2007


Rajkot; Sunday; There are frequent incidences of deaths of lions, lion cubs, leopard and other animals by falling in open wells near Gir forest. At the time of such incidences, forest department only requests and appeals open-well owners instead of taking strong legal action which has lead to death of two lion cubs and one leopard by falling in open wells in village Nani Dhari near Dalkhaniya.


It is reported that two lion cubs, about 1 to 1.5 months old, fell into 60feet deep open well of farm land owned by Jilbhai Jebaliya in village Nani Dhari in Dalkhaniya range on Dhari-Khambha Road at 6 km from Gir sanctuary. Water level in this well was 10 -15 feet.


A pride of two female lions along with four cubs was living in this farm land. Lions had killed one male blue bull two three days back. Tire marks of a four wheel vehicle were also seen in this private land. A inquiry is also being done about this four wheel vehicle.


In a separate incidence a leopard died by falling in to open well in farm land of Nanubhai Samjibhai in Linepara area of Dhari.


Kishore Kotecha’s comment:

As most of the open-wells are situated outside forest border, in revenue area, Forest Department can not take legal action on open-well owners. Hence it would not be correct to blame Forest Dept. for such incidences. Only Govt. of Gujarat can pass some legislation to cover such wells and stop such incidences. Also Govt. of India can give financial aid which would help covering such deaths. Money spent by Govt. of India on lions is only a fraction of amount spent behind tigers!!


Also NGO’s from western world should come forward in such a noble cause to help in construction compound wall surround such open wells. Most of the farmer are poor and hence cannot afford such expense of construction. Also few NGOs believe that if existing open wells are covered it would not solve the problem as new open wells would be dug. But in reality, new open wells are not being dug now-a-days as boring is quite cheaper option for getting underground water.


Kishore Kotecha
Asiatic Lion Protection Society
Rajkot 360001 India,

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