Monday, April 09, 2012

Major fire in lion’s abode in Amreli

Major fire in lion's abode in Amreli
Times of India

No Evidence So Far Of Wild Animals Injured In The Blaze

A major fire broke out in a forest area near Krakach village in Liliya taluka of Amreli district on Saturday evening.

According to forest officials, the fire spread over 130 bigha land where wildlife has a sizeable presence.

The reason for the fire is yet to be ascertained. Wildlife lovers confirmed that this is the third incident of such a fire in the same area in the past one month.

According to Mahendra Khuman, a wildlife lover and a Krakach village resident, the place where the fire broke out is home to many wild animals including lions.

"We saw the flames on Saturday evening; it engulfed a large area quickly. This area is locally known as Bela, Tali or Naliyeri on the banks of Gagdiya and Shetrunji rivers. When we rushed to the spot, we spotted two lionesses and one lion in the area where the fire had broken out. But they were safe. However, we could not find two cubs which are usually found around this area. We pray that they are safe,'' Khuman said.

J K Makwana, deputy conservator of forests, Amreli division, said, "The fire was brought under control by late night on Saturday. We estimate that it spread over 130 bigha land most of which is private-owned wasteland. Primary investigation suggests that during the summers, farmers burn the waste in their farms, which may have caused the fire.''

On whether any wild animals died, as suspected by locals, "We have not come across any such evidence which suggests that wild animals got injured in the fire,'' Makwana told TOI.

Earlier, in March, a fire broke out in the same area on the banks of Shetrunji river near Krakach.

As per the census of 2010, there are in total 411 lions in Junagadh, Amreli and Bhavnagar districts of which 108 are from Amreli alone.

The blaze that engulfed the forest area in Liliya taluka of Amreli

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