Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Open wells and ‘illegal safaris’ killing lions in Gir Sanctuary

Open wells and 'illegal safaris' killing lions in Gir Sanctuary
DNA By Roxy Gagdekar

The 'illegal safaris' and the open wells remain a threat to lions in the Gir Sanctuary.Experts blame these factors for accidental death of 33 lions and 182 natural deaths in last four years.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a source close to the development told DNA that most of the accidental and natural deaths were the results of illegal safaris and open wells. He said that deaths registered in the natural causes should be included in the accidental deaths.
He said, "Death of lions due to brain hemorrhage is never registered as accidental death and reason for hemorrhage is never probed," he said.

MLA from Talala region, Bhaga Barad said that open wells are dangerous for lions. He said, "Even though crore of rupees had been spent on reducing risk of open wells, nothing has come out of it so far."

However, denying such possibility, Dr Pravin Vataliya, professor at veterinary college, Junagadh, told DNA over phone that so far, it has not been specified as to how the lions have died. "There are several reasons for lion's death, including illness, old age among other things," he said.

Environmentalist and executive director of Wildlife Conservators Trust, Kishore Kotecha told DNA that several attempts have made by the government, but so far nothing concrete has been done to reduce the risk of open wells. However, he also credit the locals for the rise in lions population in recent times.

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