Friday, March 30, 2018

Wells, rail tracks turn death traps for Gir lions


Wells, rail tracks turn death traps for Gir lions

The Hindu


32 die of unnatural causes in two years

As many as 32 lions died due to "unnatural causes" like falling into wells or being run over by trains in 2016 and 2017 in Gir Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat.


In 2016, 12 lions died, while in 2017, 20 lions, including cubs, died due to unnatural cases, State Forest Minister Ganpat Vasava informed the State Assembly on Monday.


According to him, a total of 184 lions died in the State in two years: 104 in 2016 and 80 in 2017.


Safety measures soon

Replying to a question by Congress legislator Gyasuddin Sheikh, the Minister admitted that wells without parapet walls often became death traps for the lions, which fell into them and drowned.


There are 27 open wells in Amreli district near the sanctuary, Mr. Vasava said, adding that parapet walls would be built around these wells "as soon as possible".


Several open wells near the sanctuary have been now secured by constructing parapet walls, and walls would also be built around the remaining wells, he said.


Other preventive measures include construction of fences along the railway tracks passing through Amreli district and building speed breakers on roads passing through the sanctuary area.


Incidents of lions getting mowed down by trains or vehicles on the road were often reported from the area.


As per the 2015 census , there were 523 lions in and around the Gir sanctuary.

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