11 lions dead in Gir forest in Gujarat, state government orders probe

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Officials on September 21 said that the carcasses of 11 lions, including three adult females, two adult males and six cubs, were found in Gir forest National Park of Gujarat in last few days, prompted the state government to order an inquiry.

P Purushothama, Deputy Conservator of Forest, Gir (east) said, “We have found carcasses of 11 lions from Gir east forest range.”

All the dead lions were found in Gir (east) division, mainly from Dalkhaniya range in the last few days, an official added.

Three bodies were found in the Dhara area in Amreli Range, while the other eight were found in Roniya area.

Officials say that the postmortem report said that nine lions died due to lung infection (Feline Leukemia) and the other three died due to infighting.

“There is no need to worry as the forest department officials have taken necessary measures to prevent the spread of this air-borne disease to the remaining lions. We have vaccinated them to boost their immunity against the disease,” Hitesh Vamja, veterinary forest officer of Gir Forest West said.

PCCF wildlife A K Saxena said, “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.”