Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Lion attacks cattle 45km from Rajkot.

RAJKOT: Asiatic lions are coming close to Rajkot!

The frequency of the lions preying on cattle in villages close to the city is increasing. On Saturday night, a lion killed domestic cattle in Nadala village in Babra taluka of Amreli district. The village is roughly 45 km from Rajkot.

According to sources, the lion killed a bullock in the farm of Jesing Vakotar.

"Farmers in these villages never expected that a lion would kill their cattle. They were very scared as they had never seen lions in their surroundings before. However, the lion abandoned its prey and escaped from the spot when people gathered," sources in the village said.

On Sunday too, a lion preyed on some cattle in the area. Forest department officials rushed to the spot and have started monitoring the lion's movement.

"It seems that the lion may have come from Liliya-Krakach area. We are trying to ascertain the area from where it may have come. Chances are that the lion may have strayed out of the Dhari forest range as well," a senior forest official said.

Earlier, lions have been spotted in villages of Jasdan, Gondal and Kotda-Sangani, which are all located near by Rajkot.

A few months ago, lions had killed domestic cattle in Bildi, Vinjuvadi and Sanala villages in Gondal taluka and Bhadva village in Kotda-Sangani taluka of Rajkot district. Bhadva is about 25 km away from Rajkot city. These lions had come from Chandgadh area in Amreli.

Earlier, in October 2008 too, a lioness and three cubs were spotted near Gondal. They had killed cows in Panchiyavadar village.

The data analysis of direct and indirect evidence like sightings, prey and pugmarks show that lions' kingdoms spread over 1,100 villages in three districts of Saurashtra region. At present, lions occupy an area over 16,000 square km in Saurashtra spread over three districts - Junagadh, Amreli and Bhavnagar.


Suo motu PIL in Gujarat High Court on new tourism zone in Gir.

Press Trust of India  |  Ahmedabad 
Last Updated at 21:20 IST

The High today sought explanation from the Centre and the state government on a plan to set up new tourist zone in the Gir Asiatic lions sanctuary.

The court took up the issue as a suo motu PIL.

The division bench comprising justices Akil Kureshi and served notices to the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) and the state government's forest department in the PIL, which demanded that the area be declared as a 'critical habitat zone'.

The court also directed the Gujarat government to file a status report on developmental and construction activities in the Gir Lions sanctuary elaborating whether those activities are permissible under provisions of the law.

The bench asked details of private properties constructed in the sanctuary and directed the district collector of Gir-Somnath to file a reply.

The issue surfaced after a 'whistleblower' made a detailed application to the Gujarat High Court Chief Justice, last month, stating that the Gujarat government has proposed a new tourist zone in the south-east area of the Gir sanctuary.

It was contended in the application that the south- east area should be declared as a 'critical wild-life zone' instead of proposing a new tourist zone.

There is already a tourist zone in Gir Asiatic lions sanctuary and due to this encroachment of developmental activities, the ecology of the area has incurred a loss, the application said.

The Gujarat High Court has taken up the issue as a suo motu PIL and initiated proceedings.

After issuing notices to all respondents, the court posted the matter for further hearing on October 16.


Lion found dead near Junagadh.

RAJKOT: A lion was found dead in Junagadh Agricultural University (JAU)'s research farm on the outskirts of Junagadh town on Tuesday morning.

The lion is believed to be around one-and-a-half-year old. The decomposed body was found some 10 km away from Junagadh towards Bilkha Road. The carcass suggested that the lion might have died two days ago.

"We have sent the body for post-mortem to ascertain the exact cause of death. But preliminary investigation suggests that lion may have died due to snake bite,'' said Parbat Maru, range forest officer, Girnar Wildlife Sanctuary (Girnar South division), Junagadh.

Forest officials said that a lioness and her three cubs were seen roaming around this area before a few days.

The death of lions have remained cause of concerns for wildlife conservationists as over 265 lions have died in Gir forest and adjoining areas in last five years, most of them in unnatural death.

According to last lion census, there were 411 lions in Gir forest, the last abode of Asiatic lions.


Lords Resort Sasan Gir, Junagadh.

Monday, September 22, 2014, 14:00 Hrs  [IST]

Premier mid market Hotel chain, Lords Hotels & Resorts, announced the opening of its Resort- Lords Resort Sasan Gir, Junagadh - in Sasan Gir, Gujarat. Designed to cater to both the domestic and international traveller, the resort has 56 well appointed rooms replete with all modern amenities. Located inside the Gir forest national park and wildlife sanctuary, the resort is an ideal destination for those looking to spend time in greens away from the city noise. The wild life lovers have an additional reason as the national park is not just home to Asiatic Lions but forms of other flora and fauna. Centrally located, the resort is about 40 km (an hour’s drive) from Veraval railway station. With the facilities like swimming pool, dedicated play areas, 24-hour in-room dining, it is a perfect place to rejuvenate and unplug oneself.The 24 hour multicuisine restaurant-Blue Coriander- further adds to the dining option.

Open well claims lion cub's life in Amreli village.

RAJKOT: In yet another incident of unnatural death, a lion cub died after falling into an open well in Sarasiya village near Dhari town of Amreli district on Saturday.

Forest officials said that the male lion cub was two-and-half-month old. The farm owner Nagji Parmar spotted a body floating in the well and informed the forest department. The forest officials fished out the body and sent it for post mortem.

"The cub fell into the well on Friday night. The well was about 76-feet deep and water depth was 25 feet," said a forest department official.

"There are many open farm wells near lions' habitat which pose danger to wild animals, especially lions. Lions have spread in nearly 1,100 villages of Bhavnagar, Amreli and Junagadh districts," said a senior forest official.

According to the 2010 lion census, there were 411 Asiatic lions in Gir forests and its nearby areas. However, in last five years, over 260 lions have died, most of them unnaturally.


Forest dept begins tracing lions’ footprints near tracks.

Railways has given its nod to the Forest Department to carry out survey of the area along the 30-km stretch near railway tracks in Jamnagar which witnessed the death of eight Asiatic lions after being run over by trains. The forest officials have started surveying the stretch for fencing and lying of underground channels for safe passage of lions. According to 2010 census, Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary has 411 lions.

Principal Chief Wildlife Conservator of Forest C N Pandey said: "We don't want any death of Asiatic Lion on railway tracks. Railways has granted us the permission to survey the area near the tracks. We have started preparing for fencing and underground ways for protection of wildlife near the tracks." "We held a meeting with western railway officials after the death of eight Asiatic lions on railway tracks. Fencing near tracks will curb incidents of lions being run over by trains," he added.

The forest officials had requested the railway authorities to reduce the speed limit of goods trains on this route from the current 80 km to 30- 40 km. On September 2, a six-year-old lioness was mowed down by a train near Gir Wildlife Sanctuary.


Two lionesses join Jerusalem zoo.

Ziv, the new male lion at Jerusalem's Biblical Zoo, getting comfy in his new lair (photo credit: Flash 9

Ziv, the new male lion at Jerusalem's Biblical Zoo, getting comfy in his new lair (photo credit: Flash 90)

Recent arrivals at Biblical Zoo from Germany and Czech Republic to join male brought earlier this year

September 20, 2014, 1:59 pm

Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo on Thursday announced the arrival of two Asiatic lions from European zoos to join its collection.

The two lionesses were acquired from the zoos in Magdeburg, Germany and Prague, Czech Republic. The elder, from Prague, is 13-years-old and the younger German lioness is a year-and-a-half-old. The zoo didn’t disclose the names of its new additions.
“They are both acclimating behind the scenes and will soon slowly get used to their new home and come outside into their courtyard,” the Biblical Zoo said on Facebook. “We will provide ongoing updates.”
The two females will accompany the current resident male Asiatic lion, Ziv, who was imported from Sweden earlier this year.
Lider, a 16-year-old Asiatic lion, was put to sleep last year after veterinarians and keepers decided that his difficulties in walking and standing, brought on by chronic back pain, were insufferable. The zoo has since sought to bring additional big cats to the park to replace him.
Asian lions were once indigenous to Israel and the Middle East, but now a mere 359 or so animals exist in the wild in the Gir Forest of India, according to a local conservation group. Another 200 Asiatic lions live in zoos worldwide.

Drama on Maldharis to entertain Gir tourists.

AHMEDABAD: The state forest department is planning to promote the culture of Gir and its surrounding areas. Apart from Lion Safari, the department has planned to tie up for performance of Akoopar, a drama on the life of Maldharis and their relationship with lions.

"We plan to have this drama as a regular feature along with the short documentary on lions. There will be an expert present during the documentary show to take live questions from the audience," said a senior forest official.."An amphitheater has been constructed for the purpose. The department also plans to promote eco-tourism apart from the Lion Safari. The department has planned to have performance of 'Akoopar,' especially on weekends or on public holidays," said C N Pandey, principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife).

The officials said that this year they are expecting a heavy rush as soon as the sanctuary re-opens on October 15. "The rush is anticipated because the sanctuary opens on October 15 after a gap of nearly three months. As soon as the sanctuary opens, there will be Diwali vacation. There will be a tremendous flow of tourists."

Officials at the Sasan headquarters said that in order to meet the heavy rush, the department now plans to have more trips of 15 seated buses. In order to meet the heavy rush, the department is compelled to have more trips of buses. The officials said that the online reservation of the safari tickets which usually open three months in advance are all booked for the vacation period. There is only one permit available for October 31.

Akoopar play: Akoopar play is based on the life of Maldharis, who live in Gir forest. The play is based on the well-known novel 'Akoopar' by Dhruv Bhatt. The play covers the culture and traditions of the Maldharis, their relationship with nature, the animals and their philosophy of life, which leads to the conservation of environment.