Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Toothache sends lion on rampage

Toothache sends lion on rampage
Times of India

Toothaches can drive anyone up the wall with pain and frustration. However, in the case of a lion, it drove him to attack humans, and damage a motorbike and a utility vehicle.

In Jambudi forest inside the Gir sanctuary, one such lion, suffering in pain from a cavity, attacked three persons including a forest guard. It damaged bikes and even attacked the rescue vehicle of the forest department. The drama continued for 6 hours, after which the lion was finally caged by the forest department

Initially, forest officials thought that the lion was irritated from being disturbed during mating, but later they realized it had a painful tooth cavity, which resulted in such behavior.

On Saturday morning, Kan Buchiyo (as he is called by the department staff) a male lion in the age group of 9-12 years was so agitated that it attacked the sleeping forest staff. One of the staff, Nandabhai Khavdu was attacked. Two others who came in the utility vehicle were also attacked.

Senior officials were informed and it was decided not to allow any person to go inside the jungle, not even for cattle grazing. Also the permits for moving between the two villages which were issued got temporarily suspended.

Meanwhile the lion also happened to come across two bikes and damaged them. The lion then came across four Maldharis who entered the forest with 40 buffaloes and 50 odd cows. The department had warned the Maldharis, but in vain. According to Jaysangh Madhubhai, "As we moved in, the lion attacked Ghughabhai Lakhbhai (80 years) and his son Dharamsinh. The two were injured and when we went to save them, it ran towards us. We got into the herd of cattle but it tried to break the cattle cordon. The buffalos attacked him forcing him to leave." Later, it moved back to the Jambudi post, and entered a room which was used as a kitchen.

"The staff was aware that the lion was irritated, but they gathered the courage and managed to close the door. By this time the rescue team from Sakkarbaug Zoo had already reached the spot," said Aradhana Sahu, deputy conservator of forest.

Sahu said that the once the lion was locked, the rescue team tranquilized it and found that the lion was suffering from tooth cavity. It was treated and sent to Sakarbaugh Zoo where it will be kept for a considerable time.

Officials said that "if the behaviour of the lion was found to be perfect later, it would be released back in the wild, but if this behaviour continued, he would be kept permanently in the zoo."

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