Thursday, October 23, 2014

Lion electrocuted on Bhavnagar farm

Lion electrocuted on Bhavnagar farm
The Indian Express

A forest guard on routine patrol found the four-year-old lion entangled in an electric wire.

An Asiatic lion was killed after it allegedly came in contact with a live electric wire and suffered an electric shock on an agricultural farm in Vaghnagar village near Mahuva in Bhavnagar district on Wednesday morning. This is the second unnatural death of the big cat in Mahuva this year.

A forest guard on routine patrol found the four-year-old lion entangled in an electric wire on the edge of the cotton field of Gafar Abbas Halari in Vaghnagar village, some five kilometres away from Mahuva on.

"The lion was found dead near an electric wire. So, prima facie, we believe it was electrocuted. However, we are awaiting the post-mortem report and results of forensic tests to know the exact cause of death," Jivraj Rokad, in-charge deputy conservator of forest (DCF) of Bhavnagar said.

The carcass of the lion was later taken to an animal rescue centre at Ranigala near Mahuva where a panel of veterinarian conducted post-mortem.

Many farmers use low-voltage direct current generated by batteries to illuminate their farms at night and keep wild animals like blue bulls and wild boars away. The current is not usually fatal. "We are investigating if the wire was charged with DC or AC (alternating current) power. As of now, nobody has been arrested," the DCF further said.

Ramani added the male lion was part of a pride of four lions which they had been observing in the area for the past four days. "We are trying to locate the other members of the pride. The process to record Halari's statement is also underway," said the RFO.

This is second unnatural death of endangered Asiatic lions in Mahuva in October. A three-month old female lion cub had been killed after it fell in an open well in Mota Pipaliya village early this month. A male lion was allegedly electrocuted to death in Moti Monpari village in Visavadar taluka of Junagadh and the forest department had arrested five farmers in this connection.

Mahuva is part of greater Gir area covering Junagadh, Gir Somantha, Amreli and Bhavnagar districts in Saurashtra.

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