Saturday, July 05, 2014

Accidents killed 13 lions in 1 year in Gujarat

Accidents killed 13 lions in 1 year in Gujarat
The Times of India
The state government has admitted that 13 lions died in accidents in Gir-Somnath, Amreli and Jungadh districts in the year beginning June 1, 2013. In a written reply to Talala MLA Jasubhai Barad's query, the state government stated that of the 13 lions which died, three were electrocuted, four were hit by a speeding train, three died in road accidents and the rest three died after falling in open wells.

It may be noted that two more lions died in train accidents in the month of June. With this, the toll of unnatural lion deaths in the last four months rose to six.

The government admitted that the maximum number of deaths had occurred in Amreli district where nine lions, including the four killed in train accidents, had met their end. According to the forest department, a total of 223 lions ? including those who had died of natural causes, had died in the region in the last five years (till March 2014). Twenty-seven more lions (including those which died of natural causes) have died after April 1 this year.

In its reply, the government further stated that meetings had been held with railway officials and long-term measures had been planned. Provisions had been made in this year's budget for fencing on both sides of the railway tracks and also for constructing underpasses.

Meanwhile, in another written reply to Vejalpur MLA Kishoresinh Chauhan, the state government stated that there were a total of 114 lions living outside the protected sanctuary.

This information was based on the 2010 census, the government said. Lions are found in Bhavnagar, the coastal areas, Lathi, Dhari and several parts of Amreli apart from Mitiyala and Girnar Sanctuary.

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