Thursday, November 05, 2009

Lion kills another for Jungle Raj in Mahuva

Lion kills another for Jungle Raj in Mahuva
Times of India By Himanshu Kaushik

The locals call him an aatankwadi' (terrorist). His basic instincts have surfaced and he wants to establish a kingdom by force. A lion who came out of Gir to settle in Mahuva outside Bhavnagar has attacked another lion which succumbed to injuries on Tuesday. This is the second incident where an adult lion has been killed in the region which is yet to be declared protected. At least, 17 lions have been spotted in this area.

Forest officials said that the adult lion attacked by the terrorist', died during treatment at Jasadhar. The attack was a result of a territorial fight. SP Tyagi, Conservator of Forest, Bhavnagar, confirmed this and said that the lion was attacked five days back and was shifted to Jasadhar for treatment.

Last year, during the same period this terrorist' lion had killed a cub.

Officials said that there was a pride of eight lions moving together and this lion was trying to enter their group. According to sources, last year the lion had tried mating with a female in the group, but her cub was constantly moving around her, which angered the lion and so he killed it.

Forest officials suspect that the recent attack could also have been provoked by jealousy. They say this is the first incident of a two adult lions fighting in Mahuva.

An adult lion pride needs about 75-80 sq km of territorial area. The recent census conducted by the forest department showed 17 lions in Mahuva taluka alone and all have been spotted in the unprotected area.

Officials say there has been presence of lions in the area for the past few years. They agree that the area was best suited for lions and the population in the coming days was going to increase as this taluka had a natural corridor with Gir and Mityala sanctuaries. The area abounds with savannah grassland with a prey base of neelgai, chital and even wild pigs.

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