Thursday, May 17, 2012

6 lions enter a house in Junagadh; 1 injured

6 lions enter a house in Junagadh; 1 injured

The problem of man-animal conflict is getting worse by the day in Saurashtra where the Asiatic Lions are thriving in their last abode in Gir forest.

Early on Wednesday, a pride of six lions, including cubs, attacked a man and his livestock in his house in Umed village near Una taluka in Junagadh district.

The man, Amba Donga, sustained wounds in his leg while one of his cows died due to injuries sustained when the cubs attacked.

Forest officers claim that the lions would have ventured out in search of prey. Livestock is considered easy prey for the wild beast.

Besides, orchards surrounding the deciduous forest also provide cool environment for them and they are known to frequent the area in summers.

While Donga was rushed to hospital, forest officials conceded that it was issue of conflict. Deputy conservator of forest at Gir national park, Anshuman Sharma said that they are devising strategies to tackle the lion menace in the village and safeguard people and their livestock.

Of late, they had noticed that the wild cats were freely roaming in the area and creating fear amongst the residents. Activists working towards lion conservation assert that the wild cats are reclaiming their centuries-old

"Lions have reached upto Gondal near Rajkot, Mahuva in Bhavnagar, and coastal areas of Probandar. Some lions have been brought back by forest department, but reclamation of their territory is bound to happen as their population expands. The lion census pegs the population at 411, but we estimate the population would easily be close to 500," said Dinesh Goswami, an activist in Kodinar.

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