One person was detained on Thursday after the release of a video in which a man was seen dragging an animal carcass behind his motorcycle as an Asisatic lion followed him at a run.
In the video, shot in Gujarat, a man was seen riding a motorcycle on a dirt track with a carcass tied to his two-wheeler. After a few seconds, a lion that was lured by the bait emerged to give chase. According to The Indian Express, the incident took place near Matirala village in Lathi taluka of Amreli district, a habitat for Asiatic Lions.
The man on the bike was identified as a wildlife tracker after the Forest Department took note of the incident and launched a probe. He was detained for questioning on Thursday.
“He is not a regular staff member, but works for Forest Department. We are questioning him in connection with the video,” Dushyant Vasavada, Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF) of Junagadh Wildlife Circle said. “We are probing if it was done just for fun or an illegal lion show was being organised. We will take strict action against those involved in harassing lions,” he added. The Indian Express quoted unnamed sources as saying the man was removing the carcass from public gaze.
Asiatic lions have been categorised as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and are protected under Schedule-I of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 in India.