The carcasses of 11 lions were found in Gujarat’s Gir forest over the past few days, PTI reported on Friday quoting officials. The state government has ordered an inquiry into the deaths.
All the carcasses were found in Gir (east) division, mainly in Dalkhaniya range.
Additional Chief Secretary of the Forest and Environment Department Rajiv Kumar Gupta said primary information shows that eight deaths were caused due to infighting. “For the rest three, postmortem reports are awaited,” he said, adding that the principal chief conservator of forest will conduct an inquiry.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forest AK Saxena also said most of the deaths were due to infighting and injuries that the animals suffered in the fights. “Most of the deaths are due to infighting and injuries caused thereby, mainly affecting cubs and females,” Saxena said. “This trend is being noticed over a period of three to four years. No foul play or suspicion is suspected.”
An unidentified senior official said the carcass of a lioness was found in a forest near Rajula of Amreli district on Wednesday while three lions were found dead the same day in Dalkhaniya range area in the Gir forest.
“We have collected viscera samples of the dead animals and sent them to the Junagadh Veterinary Hospital and are waiting for the postmortem report,” the official said.
According to a 2015 census, Gir Forest National Park has 520 lions.