Friday, July 20, 2012

Man-eater lion kills 50-year-old in Amreli, preys on him

Man-eater lion kills 50-year-old in Amreli, preys on him

In an unprecedented and shocking incident of man-animal conflict near the Gir forest, a lion dragged away a sleeping man from the verandah of his house and killed him. The king of the jungle ate up the 50-year-old man right up to his abdomen.

The incident occurred on Wednesday night in Nageshri village of Jaffarabad taluka in Amreli. Forest officials are desperately on the lookout to cage the lion as it is feared it could be a man-eating animal. Officials admit prima facie, it appears to be an unprovoked attack by the beast. This attack took place at a distance of around 50-60 km from the sanctuary area.

Significantly, this is the second incident of an unprovoked attack by lions in the last six months in the area. Earlier, a 25-year-old youth was attacked and killed in Dhodadar in a similar incident.

It is long known that the lions have spilled out of the sanctuary area and are reclaiming their traditional corridor, but earlier they were known to feast mostly on livestock, not on humans.

Sources working with the forest department said that a team of forest officials working with the Rajula range has done a thorough recce of the place. "Three cages with meat as bait have been set up for the lion in the area. We are confident of catching the animal," said an official who did not want to be quoted.

Sources said Jitu Parmar was sleeping in his shanty built 2 km from Nageshri village when the attack happened at 3 in the morning. Sources said the lion dragged the man 3 km from the place and by the time help reached him he had died.

Forest officials doubt that the lion had come in search of food, and the victim Parmar had a goat tied inside his shanty. "The lion might have come for the goat and the man must have intervened," said another source. Principal chief conservator of wildlife Pradip Khanna said the attack seemed unprovoked but it has also been noticed that the villagers had not taken sufficient precaution. "They are currently very scared so we will properly understand the situation after the lion is caught and their nerves are laid to rest.

This is not absolutely normal behaviour of a lion. The site will be thoroughly studied to understand the pride in that area and its behaviour patterns," he said.

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