RAJKOT/GANDHINAGAR: A lion and a cub were found dead in Gir on Saturday. The carcass of the lion, around 3-4 years old, was found near Timbarava village, while the cub, around 2-3 months old, that was found dead near Chotalia under Dedkiyali range is suspected to have died of starvation.
No injuries were found on the carcass, they added. The officials, however, confirmed that five lions and a cub were poisoned to death by a gang of poachers on March 3 and March 29.
A CID official told TOI the poachers used insecticides to kill the lions."Lion skins recovered on March 3 did not have any marks. Forensic analysis of other body parts show that the animals were poisoned with insecticide," said an official, not wishing to be named.
Forensic investigators said the poachers most likely fed the lions with meat injected with insecticide. Similar cases had been detected in the past, said sources. Consumption of meat laced with insecticide kills an animal slowly and painfully often taking six to seven hours.
"The poachers had a free run inside the sanctuary for more than seven hours which raises doubts on security arrangements," said a police official. The forest officials could not even prevent the second poaching which took place on March 29, barely seven km from the earlier scene of crime.