Video clip shows Asiatic lioness being harassed by locals at Gir
The Times Of India
RAJKOT: Forest officials have found another scary evidence of rampant illegal lion shows and harassment of 'Gujarat's Pride' the Asiatic lion.
Video clips found from seven persons, who were arrested from a village of Gir-Somnath district for such illegal activity last month, show how locals harass the lions by throwing bait and relish the feline's desperate attempts to grab it.
A video that went viral on Wednesday shows two persons, one of them with a hen in his hand, teasing a lioness standing just a few feet away from him in a farm. These persons are partying in the farm while a village woman is cooking for them.
One of the persons continuously teases the lioness by pretending to throw the hen, even as it watches helplessly. At one point of time, his friend even asks him to make it roar. As the lioness comes close, the man proudly tells him that this is a daily routine and that it is not scared of them.
To demonstrate, he even shoos the big cat away for a couple of seconds. They even discuss how this was the third hen being fed to her that day. "Look how it is salivating on seeing the hen," one person remarks as they have a hearty laugh. The woman also warns not to tease the lioness any further, lest it attacks. Finally, the man throws the hen and the lioness grabs it and goes away into the field right behind them.
Chief conservator of forests, wildlife, D T Vasavada said, "This video and several others were recovered from the mobile phones of seven people arrested last month for illegal lion shows in Gir-Gadhada. The fact that the lion is not attacking the perpetrators despite being harassed and coming so close shows that such activity is routine for them. The lions might be used to getting food in this manner," said Vasavada.
Gir-Gadhda is located near Sasan in Junagadh district where a large number of resorts are situated. Several resorts offer such lion shows to their guests at a hefty charge.
On May 19, seven persons, including four from Ahmedabad, were caught red-handed watching an illegal lion show in Babaria range. Four tourists from Ahmedabad had stayed at a farmhouse near Sasan. They had planned an illegal lion show in Jakhiya village in the Gir-Somnath district.
In Video: On cam: Asiatic lions being harassed by locals at Gir