Friday, October 19, 2007

Five Asiatic lions electrocuted in Amreli; one detained


Five Asiatic lions electrocuted in Amreli; one detained

The Hindu

Ahmedabad (PTI): Five Asiatic lions including three cubs were found electrocuted and buried on Friday in Prem Para area in Amreli district close to the Gir Lion Sanctuary, Forest officials said here.

The carcasses were found buried at separate spots in a private farm and one person has been arrested in this regard, they said.

The incident comes just months after eight of the endangered beasts were poached for their body parts in Gir and Bhavnagar parts of the sanctuary.

"As of now, the carcasses of five lions that includes three cubs and two females have been recovered from the farm. They were all electrocuted and killed," Bharat Pathak, the Forest Department official in-charge of the Gir Lion Sanctuary told PTI.

Though the animals were not killed for their body parts, the accused will be booked under the Wildlife Protection Act.

Preliminary probe indicated that the accused, a farmland owner, had electrified the fence around his farm illegally to prevent animals from grazing on his crops.

"However, even after he realised that five Asiatic lions were killed he did not inform the forest officials, instead tried to destroy the evidence," he added.

Farmers in these areas use illegal electrification to keep animals away, but in the process led to death of many endangered species, Pathak said.

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