Tuesday, July 10, 2012

King of the jungle humbled by stray dog in Gujarat

King of the jungle humbled by stray dog in Gujarat
Times of India By HImanshu Kaushik

Sounds strange but it is true. A stray dog called 'Fighter' is reported to be giving a group of lions a tough time at Kankarach village in Liliya taluka of Amreli district.

The dog is bent on ensuring that these lions, otherwise the undisputed kings of the forest, do not enter the village for a kill. On several occasions he has been seen chasing away them from the village, especially at night.

Rajan Joshi, a resident of the village says, "I was present there with a camera and saw the dog getting extremely close to the group of lions. It stood at a range of just eight or ten feet and challenged them, darting in as close as two feet and barking loudly."

Joshi says that as the lions turned on the dog to chase him, Fighter dove into nearby shrubs to evade them, and came back charging as soon as distance allowed. It was satisfied only when the annoyed lions returned to the wilds from where they came.

An astonished Joshi then decided to keep a close watch on the dog's movement and interaction with the lions, only to find that this was a routine affair. He says the lions are scared to enter the village from the side where the dog has lodged himself. Villagers claim that the dog has chased out lions from the village several times. On a couple of occasions people have been alerted to the lions after hearing Fighter bark. There have also been occasions when the dog was nearly caught by the lions but thorny bushes around helped him escape.

Officials say they have never heard of a dog daring to go as close as three feet and that too before a group of lions. They are of the opinion that perhaps it is a mutual arrangement where the lions and the dog have realized that they would not be harming each other.

Additional principal chief conservator of forests H S Singh says, "The lions would probably be moving away thinking that humans might be accompanying the dog."

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