Was the lion electrocuted?
Times of India
The carcass of a lion found from a gauchar land in Valar village of Talaja taluka in Bhavnagar district on Friday has bullock-cart wheel marks on it, which raises the suspicion that the lion may have been killed somewhere else and dumped in the revenue area.
Forest officials also suspect that the lion may have been electrocuted by electrical fence put up by farmers to keep animals away.
Moreover, the lion's claws and other body parts were missing, indicating that the big cat may have been killed. Sources say that the lion may have been killed at least four days ago.
However, senior forest officials maintained that they are awaiting the forensic report to ascertain the actual cause of death.
Meanwhile, paw marks of a lioness have been spotted and forest officials are combing the area for the lioness. "Rangers have seen the paw marks of the lioness and we are hopeful to locate her soon," K S Randhava, deputy conservator of forest, Bhavnagar division, told TOI. "We are close to crack this case," Randhava said.
However, there is strong belief among the foresters and wildlife lovers that the lioness too might have been killed.
According to the latest lion census conducted last year, there are 33 Asiatic lions in the Bhavnagar division, mostly in the Mahuva forest range. However, there is no full-time range forest officer since the past two months.
About one-and-a-half month ago, a similar incident was reported from Khambha, where two lions were poisoned. Initially, it seemed to be a natural death but later it turned out to be poaching and the forest department arrested one person in this regard.