Friday, March 30, 2012

139 lions died in 2009-11 in Gujarat

139 lions died in 2009-11 in Gujarat

A total of 139 lions, lionesses and cubs have died in the last three years, but not a single one of them because of poaching, the state government said in the assembly on Thursday.

Forest minister Mangu Patel said in a written reply in the House that 42 adult lions had died in the last three years - 14 in 2009, 15 in 2010 and 13 in 2010.

"Forty-three lionesses and 54 cubs also died in the three-year period," the minister said in response to a question by Congress MLA from Babra, Bavku Undhad.

According to Patel, 13 adult lionesses died in 2009, while the number was 16 in 2010 and 14 in 2011. Similarly, a total of 15 lion cubs died in 2009, while the number rose to 17 in 2010 and went up to 22 in 2011.

The minister said that not a single lion death was because of poaching.

"The deaths were caused because of accidentally falling in wells, internal fight between lions, electric shock and some cases in the process of self-defence. Some of the lions died a natural death, but not a single death was caused by poaching," Patel informed.

In reply to another question, the forest minister said that 60 incidents of humans being attacked by wild animals were reported in Junagadh district in 2011. "Ten persons lost their lives in these attacks, while 54 others were injured," he said.

Patel said that almost 2,500 domestic animals were killed in attacks by wild animals in Junagadh in the same period.

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