'Caging lions after attack on humans needs relook'
The Times Of India
RAJKOT: Wildlife experts' have called for re-look into the present policy of forest department of caging lions immediately after incident of lion attack on humans and sending it to Sakkarbaug Zoo in Junagadhfor rest of its life.
According to sources, four lions were caged for life in last 10 months alone and a pride of 17 lions have been in captivity in proposed Ambardi Interpretation Zone near Dhari for observation since last six months. The incidents of human-lion conflict have increased as lions have expanded their territory in the Gir region.
However, wildlife experts believe that lions are at receiving end despite the fact that that humans are the ones who harass them.
Latest lion census states that there were 523 lions in Saurashtra of which roughly 50% are outside the protected areas, close to human habitats.
"Even the lion (caged from Girnar Wildlife Sanctuary) can also be released using certain protocol wherein you first release it in an open enclosure like place where lion can get pray and hunt. Forest officials can study lion's behaviour there. And only after the behavioural study, forest officers can take a call whether it should be released back into the wild or should be kept in captivity for life," opined wildlife expert V C Soni.
"I would emphasis on setting up Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) after capturing lions following human-lion conflict," said Priyavrat Gadhvi, wildlife conservationist and member of State Wildlife Advisory Board.