Friday, March 26, 2010

116 lions died in Gir forest in last three years: Gujarat govt

116 lions died in Gir forest in last three years: Gujarat govt
Times of India

As many as 116 lions have died in the last three years in Gir forest in Gujarat, the last home of the Asiatic lion, the state government said in the Assembly here on Thursday.

This information was given by the Minister for Forests and Environment Mangubhai Patel in a written reply to a question raised by Congress leader Arjun Modhvadia.

The minister has stated that as per the last census in 2005 there were 291 lions in the Gir forest.

In the year 2007, some 40 lions died, while 42 died in 2008. Thirty lions died in the year 2009, out of which one was killed by poachers. According to the minister, four lions have died in the first two months of the current year.

Out of the 116 lion deaths, 108 died due to natural causes like old age and diseases, one died after falling into an open well, while seven were killed by poachers.

The minister stated that according to 2005 census, it was estimated that 123 cubs were born in that year.

The minister, earlier this month had told the state Assembly that there were presently 68 lions, 100 lionesses and 123 cubs in the entire Gir forest which is spread over three the districts of Junagadh, Amreli and Bhavnagar.

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