Central team in Gir to inquire lion deaths
Shaken by the deaths of 11lions in Gir East in the past 10 days, Gujarat government has sought central assistance to examine possibilities of an epidemic or other possible reasons for the death of lions.
Eleven lions were found dead in Dalsaniya range of Amreli district in the past 10 days. The forest department had said that two female and one male adult lions died of respiratory failure, while three cubs died due to injuries sustained during infighting. However, the department has been unable to identify one lion whether it was male or female, same is the case of a cub. Post mortem report for two lions is awaited.
The state government has now invited three experts from central government to look into the deaths. Talking about the team that is visiting Gujarat, Pricipal Chief Conservator of Forest G K Sinha said, "The team is here on our invitation. There was speculation by people and media about an epidemic, so we have called the team to investigate. However, their primary research shows no signs of epidemic." The team has three officials, one is Joint Secretary of Wildlife, Government of India, Assistant Inspector General of National Tiger Conservation Authority who visited the site on Saturday. A scientist from Wildlife Institute of India joined them on Saturday evening.
Reacting to the deaths, Opposition leader Paresh Dhanani said, "State government lacks in taking basic precautions for lion population. This is purely their negligence behind pride of our state. There is deficit of pre-planning, in addition department should be well-equipped."