Friday, December 18, 2009

“State mourning” for a lion in Junagarh

"State mourning" for a lion in Junagarh

Residents in Sasan town of Junagarh district, famous for its Gir national park, observed a half-day shutdown on Wednesday to protest the forest department's failure to save a lion, which died after falling from a bridge.

All shops and commercial establishments remained closed, and even vehicular movement was restricted during the shutdown.

The four-year-old lion died after falling from a 15-foot-high bridge.

Visitors coming to Sasan were surprised and also impressed to see the locals' devotion to the safety of animals in the Gir national park.

"One lion died in a mishap and all the locals here are observing a shutdown to protest that. It felt really nice to see how much love and concern these people have for the lions and other wild animals," said Amit Sawant, a visitor.

The highway and roads passing through the National Park have been the cause of death of a number of animals in Gir.

Although incidents of animals being hit by speeding vehicles are on a rise, the forest department lacks even basic amenities, such as rescue vans and ambulances, to treat the injured animals.

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