Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lion axed to death near Gir

Lion axed to death near Gir
Times of India By Kulsum Yusuf

In a bizarre incident, a lion was axed to death by some villagers in the greater Gir concept area of Junagadh district on Monday. Before it was killed, the lion had attacked seven people, including three of its attackers, who were hospitalised after the incident, forest officials said.

"It appears to be an act of self-defence," said in charge deputy conservator of forests Anita Karne of Junagadh Sasan Gir.

The lion, aged between three and five years, was first spotted near Chorvadi village, 4 km from Gir sanctuary. Deputy sarpanch Mahesh Baldaniya, 65, was attacked and injured on his leg by the lion, which then walked into a farm in Mandalpar village. On way, it reportedly attacked Chandu Chovadiya, 45, a farm labourer, Gopal Mor, 70, and a forest beat guard PD Gharsanda before it was found dead at 11am in the farm.

Karne said, "Foresters found a felled tree next to the lion's carcass. From the wounds it appears to have been attacked by a sharp object, possibly an axe, which cut the blood stream to the brain."

The attackers — Karim Pathan, 42, Salim, 32, and Abdullah Pathan, 45, all residents of Junagadh — are woodcutters.
"Preliminary investigation suggests that these persons — labourers hired to fell trees before monsoon — were working when the lion attacked them," Karne said, adding that the spot falls under the revenue area and not the sanctuary. It's not yet certain how many woodcutters were present.

In charge conservator of forests Sudhir Chaturvedi said, "This kind of a multiple attack on humans by a lion is extremely rare. It needs to be studied as to whether there was any provocation"

Carcass of the lion killed by villagers

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