Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Lion cub run over by goods train

Lion cub run over by goods train
Times of India

A lion cub was run over by a goods train in Amreli district on Monday afternoon. The accident took place near Uchaiya village of Rajula taluka.

Forest department officials said that the six-month-old female cub was crossing the railway track on Dhola-Rajula stretch when it was hit by the train. Only goods trains ply on this route towards Pipavav.

"We rushed to the spot and conducted a postmortem of the dead animal. The carcass lay in the middle of the track while its severed head lay some metres away. A lioness had given birth to two cubs six months back and this cub who died in the accident is one of them," said an official.

Wildlife activists claim there are over 30 lions in the coastal parts of Rajula and Jafrabad talukas in Amreli district. The animals seem to have settled down permanently in these areas and have adapted to the local environment and find sufficient prey. Activists are concerned over the wild cat moving into the industrialized areas along the coast.

"There are regular instances of domestic animals dying on railway tracks but it's the first time that a lion cub has been run over. Such instances are likely to increase as the number of lions has grown around the industrial belt. Lions cross the railway tracks as it is their natural corridor,'' said honorary wildlife warden Vipul Laheri.

The lions census of 2010 had put the number of wild cats in Amreli as 108. There were a total of 411 lions in and around Gir forest in Saurashtra.

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