Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Gujarat: Lions attack man near Gir forests, spotted in Junagadh town

Forests officials said a man from the shepherd community was attacked by three lions while he was grazing goats near Adsang village. He was admitted to a hospital in Savarkundla.
By: IANS | Ahmedabad | Updated: July 13, 2016 10:47 am

Lion, Lions attack man, Junagarh Town, Gujarat, Gujarat lions, Gir forests, gir lion attack, Gujarat forest department, Lion attack, Ahmedabad, Gujarat news, india news A pride of eight lions, including two cubs, was seen loitering in the residential area of Junagadh town near the Girnar Darwaza area Tuesday night.

One person was seriously injured when three lions attacked him in Gujrat’s Amreli district on Tuesday while a video on the social media depicting a pride of eight lions roaming about a human habitat in Junagadh district created panic in the area.
Forests officials said a man from the shepherd community was attacked by three lions while he was grazing goats near Adsang village. He was admitted to a hospital in Savarkundla.
Three persons were killed in attacks by lions in Amreli district between March and May this year. An old woman was killed in similar attacks by lions in the adjoining Gir Somnath district during the same period.
Apparently lion sightings are not new in the area. We found this video from a year ago.
Watch | Lion on road at bhavnath mandir junagadh
Meanwhile, a pride of eight lions, including two cubs, was seen loitering in the residential area of Junagadh town near the Girnar Darwaza area last night. Captured on a mobile phone, the video was posted on social media causing panic in the area.

Lions jaywalk through Junagadh town with pride



  • A pride of three lionesses and cubs had ventured nearly 3.5 km inside Junagadh, early on Tuesday
  • The areas that the lions toured are heavily populated and crammed with houses, schools, a hospital, and other buildings
  • They returned to the forest area near Datar Road after an hour-long excursion
Rajkot: Stray animals on Indian roads present an unremarkable sight. But early on Tuesday morning, Junagadh resident Mrunal Joshi saw a bevy of beasts of an order that was royally different from the usual urban menagerie of stray dogs and loitering cattle. Joshi woke up to the astounding sight of nine Asiatic lions sauntering through an inhabited road of the town. A pride of three lionesses and cubs had ventured nearly 3.5 km inside Junagadh on a four-lane road which falls in ward number 1 of the municipal corporation.

Joshi, who lives near Girnar Darwaza, spotted the lions at around 2:30 am when he got up to relieve himself. "I couldn't believe my eyes - so many lions were walking on the road right outside my house," Joshi told TOI. He captured the extraordinary 'cat video' from his third-floor balcony.

The areas that the lions toured on Tuesday are heavily populated and crammed with houses, schools, a hospital, and other buildings.

While the lions are frequently sighted on the road near Bhavnath taleti on the foothills of the Girnar mountain, this is the first instance of a pride straying so deep into a town. It is believed that the lions came from the direction of Bhavnath taleti and wandered past the Damodar Kund, a boys' hostel, Gayatri temple, and a prominent Jain derasar. Roughly , 10,000 persons inhabit the areas along road taken by the lions.

The emboldened wild cats also strolled past the historic Ashoka rock-edict which, curiously, exhorts people to protect wildlife and warns of life imprisonment for slaughtering animals. The modern-sounding laws were etched in stone around 1,800 years ago.

Top Comment

The Lions and cubs have inspected Junagadh and decided on who''s who on the menu! They will be back for dinner! why do we not send some Gir lionesses to Srinagar to help the befuddled security ?Haridas Panicker

The pride returned to the forest area near Datar Road after an hour-long excursion.There are approximately 45 lions in the Girnar Wildlife Sanctuary, which spans over 17,827 hectares. Junagadh is located just two kilometers from the boundary of the sanctuary. "Lions often come close to residential areas in Junagadh," said Dr Jalpan Rupapara, a wildlife conversation expert in Junagadh.

"In fact, Girnar Darwaza is barely 100 metres from the sanctuary. More of such incursions, especially in monsoon, can't be ruled out, considering that the lion population in Girnar is growing," he said.

450 Maldhari families living inside Gujarat's Gir sanctuary

| TNN |

  • Hundreds of Maldharis (traditional inhabitants of Gir forest), who had moved out of the protected forest after taking benefit of government's resettlement scheme in 1980s have returned to the forest over the past two decades
  • The forest department disclosed that there are over 450 families now living inside the sanctuary
  • According to an estimate, over 2,000 Maldharis have returned into Gir over the last two decades
Most of these Maldhari families who were resettled under the government scheme have returned to the Gir sanctuary.Most of these Maldhari families who were resettled under the government scheme have returned to the Gir sanctuary.

| TNN |
Junagadh: At a time when population of Asiatic lions is spreading outside of the Gir wildlife sanctuary into fringe areas leading to rise in man-animal conflict, hundreds of Maldharis (traditional inhabitants of Gir forest), who had moved out of the protected forest after taking benefit of government's resettlement scheme in 1980s have returned to the forest over the past two decades.

The state forest department has ordered a survey to find out how many Maldharis have now returned. According to data presented before CM Anandiben Patel at a high-level meeting on July 5, the forest department disclosed that there are over 450 families now living inside the sanctuary .Most of these Maldhari families who were resettled under the government scheme have returned to the Gir sanctuary.

The meeting was called to resolve issues concerning to people living and outside the Gir sanctuary. Patel has called the meeting after she visited Talala during by-polls campaigning. Local residents had complained about the difficulties they faced and also submitted a 16-point charter of demands to the CM. In a reply to demand of giving permission to Maldhari's to construct pucca houses inside Gir sanctuary, senior forest department officials revealed that about 450 Maldhari families, who had shifted out of Gir sanctuary after government provided them agricultural lands, pucca houses, loans and other facilities, were back inside the sanctuary.

According to an estimate, over 2,000 Maldharis have returned into Gir sanctuary over the last two decades. Many of them have sold their agriculture land and plots given by government, said forest department sources. "We have ordered a survey about the Maldharis who have returned to the sanctuary. Once the survey is carried out, we will come to know the exact number of Maldharis inside the sanctuary area," Dr J A Khan, principal chief conservator of forests, (wildlife), told TOI.

"The authorities have been asked to carry out survey about where Maldharis have settled after returning to sanctuary. Officers have also been asked to produce evidences with photographs," a forest official.

Senior forest officials said that the very purpose of relocation of Maldharis from Gir wildlife sanctuary becomes redundant with them coming back inside the sanctuary .

"The idea of relocations of Maldharis was conceived after the years of deliberations over conservation of lions in Gir sanctuary . The Maldharis and livestock had a negative impact on lion habitat due to consumptive use of both forest product and fodder," said the forest officer.

There are about 534 lions in Saurashtra of which 280 are found in Gir National Park and Sanctuary area and surrounding villages, while rest are found outside the Gir forests.

Top Comment

This does not exists even in Somalia, then why our PM who built these compared Kerala to Somalia ?Senior Citizen

"The Maldharis who have returned back have settled either in existing ness or set up new settlements which are illegal. According an estimate, there over 4,100 Maldharis living in 46 ness (Maldhari settlements) in Gir Sanctuary .

Interestingly , forest department that had started issuing identity cards to Maldharis living inside Gir Sanctuary have issued over 5,500 cards," according to official documents of the forest department.

Gir lions for MP: PMO denies information on their reintroduction

IANS  |  New Delhi 
Three years after the Supreme directed that Asiatic Lions be "urgently" reintroduced from Gujarat's Gir forests to a sanctuary, nothing has moved so far.

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has refused to disclose information exchanged with the the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister in this regard, citing that it is still consulting a "third party", according to an RTI reply.
Madhya Pradesh and are locked in a legal battle over the issue for the past few years, with Gandhinagar loath to part with its lions. Officials believe that the lions are "not reaching their new home any sooner in the near future".
The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in 1989 pushed for a second natural habitat for the Asiatic Lions for their long-term conservation and to save them from epidemics.
The Supreme Court in April 2013 ordered "immediate" re-introduction of lions to Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh from Gir in Gujarat -- the only surviving habitat of 523 Asiatic Lions in the world.
The court also fixed a six-month deadline for a committee responsible to accomplish the mission under the government's Additional Director General of Forest Wildlife (ADG-WL).
While no lions have been moved, the PMO, recently replying to an RTI query of wildlife activist Ajay Dube, said that it has initiated discussions with a "third party" to decide if it should disclose any information regarding the matter.
The RTI sought information on letters exchanged between the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and the Prime Minister on shifting the lions from Gir to Kuno.
"The PMO also did not elaborate what this third party is. They also didn't say if such letters were even exchanged or not," Dube said.
This signals further delay in re-introduction of the lions.
"I don't see lions being re-introduced in the near future, there has been no such proposal with the Gujarat wildlife department either. When there is a legal battle between states, what can the Centre do," a senior official from Madhya Pradesh Wildlife department asked while speaking to IANS.
Recently, Ravi Srivastava, then Chief Wildlife Warden of Madhya Pradesh in a letter to Roy P. Thomas, Joint Director (Wildlife), Union Environment Ministry, urged that execution of the apex court's order be kick-started.
"..the flash-floods in Mareli Bhavnagar of Gujarat in July 2015 resulted in washing out of 10 Asiatic lions. This is what all the time scientists were referring to about occurrence of natural calamity," the letter procured by Dube pointed out.
A second home for Asiatic Lions follows the concern to save this rare species from an epidemic leading to its complete wipeout. Lions at Gir are already considered by experts to be vulnerable to diseases.
In 1994, over 1,000 lions in Tanzania's Serengeti National Park were killed within a few days due to an epidemic.
WII in 1993 found Darrah-Jawaharsagar and Sitamata Wildlife Sanctuaries of Rajasthan suitable and Kuno as the "best suitable" for the Asiatic Lions.
While officials don't see re-introduction happening any sooner, if the legal deadlock is resolved at least one pride -- which includes two lions and four lionesses -- would be moved under "soft release".
"Well, 15 years back Gujarat was concerned about the lion population, but now they have grown beyond capacity. I think they should not have any problem in giving us some lions now," a Madhya Pradesh official told IANS.
As per the apex court, crores of rupees have been spent by the Union and State Governments for re-introducing Asiatic lions in Kuno.
The then ADG (WL) S.S Garbayal, assigned to conduct the re-introduction, was first promoted to Director General (Forests) in July, 2014 and post retirement appointed an expert member of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), posted in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.
(Kushagra Dixit can be contacted at

Tigers are 'deity' in MP; give us Gujarat's lions too: Govt

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 
The government has sought "immediate" transfer of Asiatic lions from to one of its sanctuaries, saying people of the state treat tigers as "deity" and can soon develop cultural bondings with lions too.

The translocation of lions from Gujarat's Gir to MP's Palpur Kuno Sanctuary has been delayed by over three years despite a Supreme order.

In a recent communication to the Centre, the MP government has rejected all concerns raised by the Gujarat administration for not giving lions to it.

Madhya Pradesh is a very nature-friendly state where man and animal share the same space in and around the protected areas, it said. In many of the landscapes where there is no forest, black bucks stay in the agricultural fields.

Even then, human settlements around it really did not show much of the antagonism towards them, it said.

"It is a very common sight to see 'Bagh Dev' in many of human settlements in and around tiger reserves of Madhya Pradesh wherein people give a deity space to the tigers around and adore them.

"Therefore, once the lions are reintroduced at Kuno, the cultural bondings between the lion and human beings will get established in a natural way," the MP government said, in its reply to the issues raised by Gujarat.

In the letter to the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, the MP government also cited the 2015 floods in parts of Amreli Bhav Nagar area of the state which "resulted in washing out of more than 1,600 blue bulls, 90 spotted dears and 10 Asiatic lions.

"Hence, I request you to immediately kick-start the execution of Supreme Court's order dated April 15, 2013 without any further delay," it said.

The copy of the communication and other details were received in response to an RTI query filed by wildlife activist Ajay Dubey, who is at the forefront of the campaign to move lions to Madhya Pradesh.

The reintroduction plan of lions in Madhya Pradesh had faced stiff opposition from Gujarat.

In April 2013, the Supreme Court had ordered shifting of some of lions to Kuno. The apex court had directed the Environment Ministry to shift them by October, 2013. However, not a single lion has been shifted so far.

Palpur Kuno Sanctuary, under Sheopur district of Gwalior division, has been chosen as the second home for over 500 Asiatic lions in Gir.

Guardians of Gir: This All-Female Wildlife Rescue Team Is Unlike Any in the World

Gujarat, Wildlife, Women
The Gir forest is the sole home of the Asiatic lion in the wilderness and is one of the most important protected areas in the world.
But did you know there were only 12 Asiatic lions in Gir forest before the area was declared a protected zone in the year 1900? Today, thanks to some amazing conservation efforts by the government over the years, this number has risen to 523! Much of the credit for the increase goes to Gir’s forest guards and its animal rescue team – who are all women!
Forest guards carrying wooden sticks patrol the Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary in Sasan, in the western Indian state of Gujarat December 1, 2014. The sanctuary, which is home to India's Asiatic lions, occupies an area of 1,412 square km and employed female guards, for the first time in the country, back in 2007. According to one of the female guards, they earn a monthly salary of around $148 for working almost 12 hours a day, six days a week. Picture taken December 1, 2014. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee (INDIA - Tags: ANIMALS ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT) - RTR4H8SB
Formerly the hunting reserve of the Nawabs of Junagadh, Gir Forest is the largest compact tract of dry deciduous forest in Gujarat. Gir was declared a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1965 by the Government of India and given National Park status ten years later. Other than the charismatic Asiatic lion, the park also has a substantial population of leopards, vast herds of deer, langurs, snakes, hyenas, small jungle cats, and crocodiles.

Photo Source
The recruitment of women as wildlife rescuers began almost by accident. In 2007, Gujarat became the first state in India to employ women in its forest department by creating a 33% quota for them. The authorities reckoned the women employed would prefer taking desk jobs in the department but, proving them wrong, the women chose to take on the tough but rewarding jobs on the frontlines of wildlife rescue.
Every year, more and more women undergo intensive training before joining perhaps the only women’s brigade in the world that is directly involved in the wildlife management of big cats.

One of the first to be recruited, Raseela Wadher is the toughest woman in the group and heads the entire wildlife rescue team.

Photo Source
The Lion Queens, as this busy women’s brigade is known, have rescued 627 lions over the years. This makes them the only lion rescue team in the world to have achieved such a feat.
From helping mugger crocodiles trapped in mud and leopards stuck in wells, to treating wounded lions and fostering tiny cubs abandoned by their mothers, these women have done it all.
Photo Source
Their challenging work also includes arresting poachers, placating irate villagers, retrieving wayward pythons, and tranquilizing rogue monkeys that cause havoc in local villages.

The all-women team rescues as many as 600 animals annually, which means almost 2 rescues a day! But their favourite part of the job is tending to vulnerable little cubs and nurturing other baby animals till they’re old enough to survive on their own.

Photo Source
None of the women come from privileged backgrounds; some have to overcome opposition from their families to work as forest guards. Other than the challenge of taking on jobs in a traditionally male-dominated department, they must also overcome the dangers inherent in interacting with extremely dangerous wild animals almost every day.

In fact, the wildlife TV channel, Discovery, has featured them in a gripping documentary, The Lion Queens of India. The film follows these fearless women as they go about their work preserving the Asiatic lion in its habitat, bringing alive some of the most daring wildlife rescue sequences in India.

Photo Source
Raseela Wadher, the 28-year-old who spearheads the rescue team, has found herself in danger several times. In an interview to the Times of India, she said:
“Once I had gone with my team to rescue an injured lion. We were to tranquilize the beast. As soon as we fired the shot containing the tranquilizer, it almost attacked us. But we kept our cool and slowly walked back to our vehicles. The lion too slowly retreated into the forest.”
Despite this, Wadher has participated in over 200 lion rescues. She was even ready to opt out of marriage if her prospective husband did not agree to her working late hours in the jungle.
Kiran Pithiya, 25, records the movement of and changes in the behaviour of lions, other than participating in rescue operations. Kiran is responsible for saving 19 lions. She worked through most of her pregnancy and was scouring the forest on her bike well into her third trimester.  Recounting an experience in an interview to the Times of India, she said:
“Recently, a lioness gave birth and I had to keep watch on the newborn cubs and movement of their mother. One day, I did not realise that it had turned dark. I was leaving the area on my bike alone when a lioness began chasing me. I immediately realised that I was in danger and decided to signal to the lioness that I am a forester. I turned my bike around and made a hud-hud sound. The lioness understood that I was a forester and turned back. If I had tried to speed up and escape, the lioness would have attacked and killed me.”
True to their given name, the Lion Queens of India are indeed fearlessly and tirelessly working towards preserving the population of Asiatic lions on the planet, and looking after other wild animals and their young who also call the Gir forest their home. By employing them for these posts, the forest department has not only empowered the rural women of Gir but has also ensured a more compassionate environment for the animals.

Rare lion cubs born at Paignton Zoo

ITV Report

Paignton Zoo
Photo: Paignton Zoo
Two rare Asiatic lion cubs have been born at Paignton Zoo. The little cubs were born on 16 June and are the latest new arrivals at the Zoo.
Their mother Maliya and father Lucifer, have been snapped on CCTV tucked away with the new cubs.
Paignton Zoo
Credit: Paignton Zoo 
Paignton Zoo
Credit: Paignton Zoo
The newborns arrived not long after a similar event next door in the Zoo’s tiger house.
Paignton Zoo
Credit: Paignton Zoo
Neil Bemment, a park curator, says the team are monitoring the cubs and their mother's progress, in the hope that if she rears them successfully 'it will be very good news for the conservation breeding programme for the species'.
They still have to come through their critical first few weeks. We have been letting her get on with being a new mum - so far she seems to be doing really well. We are cautiously excited and are monitoring them closely by CCTV.
– Neil Bemment, Environmental Park Curator of Mammals
What are Asiatic lions?
Asiatic lions are threatened by hunting and habitat destruction. Fewer than 400 survive in the wild.
The Asiatic lion is smaller than the African and has a distinctive fold of skin on the belly. Also, the Asiatic male's mane is smaller and lighter in colour. Both sexes defend their territory by roaring and patrolling.

Another lioness ill at Etawah Lion Safari

The Etawah Lion Safari is seen as a dream project of chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and his father SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav.The Etawah Lion Safari is seen as a dream project of chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and his father SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav.

| TNN |
Kanpur: Another lioness is reportedly ill at the Etawah Lion Safari, sources said. Veterinarians from Mathura Veterinarian College are attending the ailing Asiatic lioness named Girishma.

Blood and stool samples of the animal have been sent to IVRI (Indian Veterinary and Research Institute), Bareilly for laboratory test, lion safari director Sanjay Srivastava said.

Sources informed that paralytic attack has affected the hind portion of the lioness and it could not be able to walk. "This has also affected its appetite, and at present the feline is consuming around 1.5 kg of meat, which is quite low as far as diet of any normal adult lion is concerned. Lioness is exhibiting symptoms quite similar to Kuber, which had died of canine distemper virus," sources added.

The safari authorities have segregated Girishma from the six other lions housed in the breeding centre in the safari.

Srivastava further said, "The blood samples of the lioness have been sent to the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) in Bareilly for medical examination and things would be clear once the reports comes in."

The Etawah Lion Safari is seen as a dream project of chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and his father SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav. The work on the project was initiated in 2005 but smooth way paved later, in May 2013, after environmental clearances.

In the last 20 months, the lion safari project of the state government has reported nine deaths so far -- four adults (two lions and two lionesses) and five cubs.

The deaths started with Laxmi and Vishnu, which had died in October and November, 2014, respectively and thereafter, Tapasya and later Kuber joined the list. Earlier, four cubs had died in July, 2015 soon after birth, while the fifth one died in August, 2015. The death of felines at the safari have been linked to canine distemper virus, which also affects dogs.

Recently, the Lion Safari authorities had carried a vaccination drive among stray and domestics dogs in villages around the safari.

The Lion Safari has three lions - Manan, Gigo and Pataudi - and four lionesses, Heer, Kunwari, Girishma and Jessica.

After the death of five cubs, lionesses Tapasya and Jessica were brought to Etawah safari along with lion Pataudi under an exchange programme from Sakkarbaugh zoo of Gujarat on December 28.

Following the deaths, chief minister Akhilesh Yadav had removed chief wildlife warden Rupak De from the post and replaced him by S K Upadhyai in August, 2015.

In January, this year, CM again removed Upadhyai after the death of lioness Tapasya. He brought back De again as the chief wildlife warden. However, the Forest Department had recently shifted De as advisor to the Lion Safari and given the charge of the Chief Wildlife Warden to Umendra Sharma.

Latest Comment

pls GOD save lioness and officiaks pks save lionessyash

In February, a two-member team from Longleat Safari Park of UK organised an exercise session for four pairs of Asiatic lions at lion safari in Etawah.

It was conducted by Mark Kingston and Christopher John and aimed at making the animals active and smart. In the process, they installed high wire and pole fight on the safari premises and involved the animals in various games in the presence of safari staff. The experts had also given tips to the forest staff to keep the animals safe and healthy.