Saturday, August 03, 2013

Lioness, leopard found dead in Amreli

Lioness, leopard found dead in Amreli
The Indian Express

A week after mysterious death of a lion in Junagadh district, a lioness and a leopard were found dead in Savarkundla taluka of Amreli, bordering Gir forests Tuesday.

"Forest guards on a routine patrolling found the carcass of the lioness in Vansiyali Vidi (bushes) in Savarkundla range around 11 am Tuesday while the carcass of a nine-month old female leopard was found from Pithavadi village in the same range," Anshuman Sharma, deputy conservator of forest (DCF) of Gir East Division, told The Indian Express.

The DCF said prima facie the cause of the death of the 11-year-old lioness seemed ageing. "A post-mortem has concluded the lioness died due to multiple organ failure. There were tumours in its lungs and bowels. Tapeworms measuring up to one-metre in length were also found from its intestines. It had prayed on a sheep three days ago but could not eat the kill. So, our staff was tracking it since then," Sharma further said.

But according to the officer, the leopard cub had died in an infighting. "There were injury marks caused by canine teeth on its head and legs. So, after an autopsy, it seems a clear case of death in infighting," Sharma said, adding a nine-month-old leopard cub could leave its mother.

Incidentally, the lion was found dead near Vekaria village in Visavadar taluka of Junagadh district in Gir West Division last Tuesday. A post-mortem had failed to give a decisive reason for its death and samples were sent for forensic examination.

This is the third death of lion in the last two months but first in Gir East in this year. Gir forest and its peripheral areas are the only natural habitat of the Asiatic lions. The Supreme Court had ordered translocation of the big cats to Madhya Pradesh in April this year and the panel set up by Union Ministry of Environment and Forest to execute the order had held its first meeting on Monday.

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