Friday, July 10, 2009

93 lions have died in three years

93 lions have died in three years
Times of India

As many as 93 lions have died in the state in the last three years. Of these, 50 were cubs. Replying to a question by Arjun Modhvadia in the state Assembly, the forest department said 85 lions had died naturally, while six lions were killed by poachers.

The forest department informed the Assembly that to check incidents of poaching, the forest and police departments are working in coordination. A joint monitoring committee is headed by the range inspector general of police, Junagadh. The committee has held eight meetings so far.

Also, the government has decided to keep a check on vehicles entering the jungle and a watch is being kept on the movement of each person entering the lion habitat. The department said a close watch is being kept on activities and movement of labourers coming from other states. Apart from any suspicious person moving around at the Gir railway station, the bus station is also being monitored. The department said that in order to save the animals from falling in open wells, 9,350 wells have been covered with parapet walls till May 2009. Also, the staff has been given wireless sets and patrolling has been intensified.

Replying to a question on how many persons have been arrested in the poaching incident, the department said that in all 19 persons have been arrested, of which 18 have been sentenced while one person died in police custody. Moreover, for effective patrolling, beat guards have been given 200 motor cycles and also friends of forest animals (FOFA) have been appointed. These FOFAs have been given the task of keeping a watch on illegal activities in the forest.

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