Tuesday, December 15, 2009

When lions stopped cops in their tracks

When lions stopped cops in their tracks
Times of India

The operation launched against country-made liquor dens in the forest near Pipavav ended in a bizarre situation when a team of officials from Pipavav Marine Police Station and Amreli police was stopped in their tracks literally by a pride of lions on Friday.

According to police, the incident occurred when the team consisting of deputy superintendent of police J M Thakar and sub-inspector of Pipavav Marine Police Station were searching for bootleggers on the run, following a tip-off about their hideouts in the forest between Pipavav and Rajula.

"When we were driving through the four-lane road, we saw some animals coming towards us in the darkness of dusk. We thought they were cows till them came very close and we realized they were lions and mostly cubs. They had preyed upon a cow and were crossing over the lane. At first, we honked, but the beasts stayed put," Thakar told TOI.

"We remained calm and controlled the traffic on the road so as to not disturb the lions and agitate them," he added.
Officials trapped inside the van sent a wireless message to the range forest officer of Rajula, who arrived with his team of officials at the site and drove off the big cats.

The development also came as a revelation for the forest department as it established the fact that the lions from Rajula range of Gir Wildlife Sanctuary strayed as far as coastal Saurashtra and made area around Pipavav port their abode.

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