Monday, August 27, 2012

Illegal lion shows go on for Gir tourists

Illegal lion shows go on for Gir tourists
The Economic Times

Tour operators in Gir offer live cattle as bait to lions in order to to show tourists how the big cats hunt, which is illegal.

Wildlife activists have demanded a ban on illegal lion shows in Amreli district on the outskirts of Gujarat's Gir sanctuary, where cattle is set as bait for Asiatic lions to entertain tourists. The last such instance was reported near Khambha on Saturday.

Jilu Bhukal, a Khambha resident who is a member of the cow protection committee, was patrolling the area when a group of people "said cattle was being taken for slaughter". "I immediately filed a complaint with the police and alerted the forest department as I suspected lions were being exploited."

Bhagu Soni, a Khambha wildlife activist, said the shows had become common. "We were told on Saturday that more than 200 people from different villages visited the place where a lion killed a cattle and was eating it," said Soni. The practice is illegal and the activist demanded it be stopped immediately.

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