Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Lion cub rescued from well, reunited with mother


Lion cub rescued from well, reunited with mother

Express India By Sibte Husain Bukhari
Junagadh, May 20 A two-month-old lion cub that was rescued from a parapet-less well was reunited with its mother after a 36-year-hour exercise, bringing the story to a happy end. This rare incident occurred in the revenue area outside the Gir forest.
According to forest officials, a lioness and two of her cubs had ventured into the forest revenue area adjoining the costal forest falling under Veraval forest range in Junagadh division.
However, on Sunday evening, a two-month-old cub reportedly fell into a parapet-less well in the area. On being informed about this, forest range officers (Veraval range) K R Vaghasia and veterinary doctor R K Hirapara rushed to the spot along with a rescue team, and after a two-hour exercise, rescued the cub from the well.
Since an abandoned cub might not survive without its mother, the officials, without any delay, decided to locate the actual mother.
But as two lionesses had been seen roaming in the area, it was not easy for the officials to identify the real mother.
When contacted, deputy conservator of forest (Junagadh range) V J Rana, confirmed the incident and said, "The rescue team kept a cub in the cage, which was placed at a suitable site in the area. We waited for close to 36 hours for the lioness to accept her cub," he said.
"Besides, female carnivores do not readily accept cubs that are not delivered by them. They often kill such cubs," he said.
According to Dr Hirpara, "The lioness first arrived at 9 pm on Sunday night. Since we had left the door of the cage open, she came and sniffed the cub but left soon. She again came at 3 in the morning. This time too, she simply left after sniffing the cub. The second rejection worried us to no end, but we decided to wait for the results," he said.
"Finally on Monday midnight, a lioness visited the cage again. This time she took longer in sniffing the cub and both disappeared into the adjoining costal forest," Hirpara said.
"It has been observed that carnivores do not accept their cubs if they come in contact with human beings. Fortunately, in this case, the lioness did accept her young one," said Rana.

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