Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lion attacks on humans, cattle on rise

Lion attacks on humans, cattle on rise
Times of India

Going by the rise in number of attacks on humans and livestock, it seems more lions are moving outside the protected area in Gir. In last one year, 42 attacks on humans, killing one, were reported in Junagadh district alone.

Replying to a question from Talala MLA Bhavan Bharwad, the government told the assembly on Tuesday that Rs one lakh had been paid as compensation for the death and Rs 1.95 lakh as compensation to the injured.

To another question, the government said that in Jafrabad and Rajula talukas of Amreli district, between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009, about 220 incidents of attack on livestock were reported, killing 472 animals in the process.

The government said Rs 7.88 lakh had so far been paid as compensation for deaths of livestock and another Rs 9.73 lakh are yet to be paid. In 2008, 146 animals were killed in Jafrabad, and the number went up to 208 the next year. In Rajula, 33 animals were killed in 2008 and another 74 the following year. The areas which registered maximum killings were Lunasar, Timba, Nageshri, Balani Vav, Mithapur, Moti Sakar, Vandh and Kagdawar, all in Jafrabad. In Rajula, the deaths were scattered across the taluka.

Senior officials admitted that with 120-130 odd lions moving outside Gir sanctuary, attacks on human and animals were likely to rise.

Revtubha Raijada, former member of the State Wild Life Board, said, "Gir's carrying capacity is just 270-odd lions, whereas it has now over 390 lions. After the census, we will know the exact number. Lions are moving out because of lack of prey base and territorial fights."

GA Patel, former chief conservator of forest, said, "Such attacks on humans were rare in the past. But with more development taking place on the peripheries of the sanctuary, the disturbance to the wild animal is increasing and the attacks are bound to increase."

Since the prey base is shrinking, the lions are moving out and attacking domestic animals, which are easy prey as they cannot run as quickly as a cheetal or a deer or any other wild animal, Patel said.

An adult lions requires an area of 30-40 sq km and hence there is always a fight for territory which results in the weaker lion coming out of the sanctuary and coming in direct conflict with the human beings.

"It is a fact that lions in past were found right from Gondal to Porbandar and upto Palitana and Bhavnagar. The lions are regaining their lost territory, as it is the human which has interfered in the lion territory," said Patel.

No comments:

Previous Posts