In an unusual event, carcasses of 11 lions were found in Gujarat’s Gir forest. According to an official, the state government ordered an inquiry into the matter.
All the dead lions were found in Gir (east) division, mainly from Dalkhaniya range in the last few days, said an official.
“We have found carcasses of 11 lions from Gir east forest range,” said P Purushothama, the Deputy Conservator of Forest, Gir (east).
A carcass of a lioness was found in a forest near Rajula of Amreli district Wednesday, while three more lions were found dead the same day in Dalkhaniya range area in the Gir forest, said a senior official.
Carcasses of seven other lions were found in the last few days, he said.
“We have collected viscera samples of the dead animals and sent them to the Junagadh Veterinary Hospital and are waiting for the postmortem report,” he added.
Additional chief secretary of the Forest and Environment Department Rajiv Kumar Gupta said the state government has ordered an inquiry which would be conducted by the principal chief conservator of forest (wildllife).
“Primary information shows that eight deaths have occurred due to infighting. For the rest three, postmortem reports are awaited,” Gupta added.
Speaking to the media, PCCF wildlife AK Saxena, who rushed to the Gir forest, said that most of the deaths are due to infighting and resultant injuries.
“Most of the deaths are due to infighting and injuries caused thereby, mainly affecting cubs and females. This trend is being noticed over a period of three to four years. No foul play or suspicion is suspected,” said Saxena.
Rajya Sabha MP Parimal Nathwani said on Thursday that a probe must be conducted to see the cause for the deaths.