19 -04 07
While the forest and security officials are still looking for ways to protect and conserve lions in the wake of the recent poaching incidents in the Gir Lion Sanctuary, nature lovers and non-governmental organisations are joining hands to protect and conserve the Asiatic lion, in their own way.
During the last three days, the Gir Nature Youth Club in Amreli district has distributed over 10,000 pamphlets in 70 villages of Mahuva and Palitana talukas around the Gir sanctuary with the aim of spreading awareness about protecting lions.
"The locals here said they had seen poachers on the banks of Shatrunji river near Ghoba village, but they did not react as they were unsure about what to do. This campaign is to spread awareness as well as demand better protection and conservation of lions," Gir Nature Youth Club president Amit Jethwa said.
He said the suspected poachers had also set a stretch of jungle on fire - about 20 to 25 kilometres from Karkath village, with the aim of driving the lions out of the jungle.
He said when the youth here suspected something amiss, they drove these people away. Jethwa said suspected poachers were also seen hiding in a farms in Katrodi village in Savarkundla taluka.
"When NGOs and villagers can get such information about poachers hiding on river banks and farms near non-protected lion habitat, why can't the forest officials get the same?" Jethwa asked.