Friday, May 27, 2016

Lion kills 70-year-old woman near Kodinar



TNN |
RAJKOT: A 70-year-old woman died after being attacked by a lion in a farm in Vadnagar village, five km from Kodinar town in Gir-Somnath district, on Thursday.

The woman, Valay Lakhani, was working in the field when the lion attacked her at around 6pm. When locals rushed to her help on hearing her cries, the lion left her and fled.

Lakhani was rushed to a hospital in Kodinar but she died on the way. This is the fourth instance of Asiatic lions killing human beings in the last 68 days. The forest department has already caged a pride of 17 lions in Ambardi.


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/rajkot/Lion-kills-70-year-old-woman-near-Kodinar/articleshow/52459398.cms

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Three people killed, Gir officials cage 13 lions

Gir, gir lion, gir lion santuary, gir forest, gir forest human killed, gir lion attack, gir lions caged, gir lion attack, gir lion captured, guajrat news, gir santuary, india news, latest news, Three people were killed by lions in as many months in Dhari taluka (Source: Express photo by Bhupendra Rana/ File)Written by Gopal B Kateshiya
Rajkot Published:May 23, 2016, 2:14

Gir forest officials on Sunday caged three more lions of a pride that is suspected to have preyed on a teenage boy near Ambardi village of Dhari taluka in Amreli district two days ago. With this, all 13 lions of the pride have been caged following demands by locals as well as politicians after three people were killed by the big cats in Gir region in the last three months.
According to locals, the pride dragged away Jayraj (14) when he was sleeping beside his father Madhu Solanki at their farm on Friday. The half-eaten body was found 500 m from the farm.

Following the incident, the forest department set up 12 cages and captured 10 members of the pride on Saturday, said T Karuppasamy, deputy conservator of forest (DCF) of Gir East. “Three more lions were caged in Ambardi on Sunday. We have now caged the entire pride. They have been sent to the animal care centre in Jasadhar for scat analysis,” he told The Indian Express. Forest officers said that scat or excreta of lions generally carry traces of meat they consume. If traces of the boy’s flesh are found in scat of any of the pride members, the lion may remain in the cage for a long time, they added.
The attack on Friday was the third in as many months in Dhari taluka. Forest officers suspect that one pride was involved in all three attacks.
After the Amreli incident, former minister Dilip Sanghani, who belongs to the area, wrote to state Forest Minister Mangubhai Patel, seeking killing of lions that attack humans. The sarpanches also wrote to the Dhari DCF seeking action.
While this is the first time that an entire pride has been enmeshed, experts blamed humans for the man-lion conflicts. “Around 40 per cent of lions are living outside the forest area, therefore such incidents may happen,” said Govind Patel, former chief wildlife warden of Gujarat and former member of the National Board for Wildlife. Bhushan Pandya, member of the state wildlife board, said, “Their (lions) behaviour is not abnormal. If people take basic precautions like not sleeping in the open, such cases can be avoided.”

Sloth bear, leopard census begins today

TOI
Ahmedabad
Fri,20 May 2016
Summary: Ahmedabad: The three-day leopard and sloth bear census will begin from Friday. We have also roped in retired forest officials, volunteers and NGOs to help in the census which will be conducted across Gujarat." "The sloth bear census will be largely reliant on camera traps as the animal's habitat is covered with adequate number of cameras. Only local residents from Junagadh, Gir-Somnath and Amreli will be allowed to be a part of the leopard census in Gir Sanctuary and nearby areas. Apart from camera traps volunteers and forest officials will be keeping a close watch on animal movements," said the official.Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (wildlife) JA Khan said, "We have deployed 6000 forest officials for the three-day exercise.
Ahmedabad: The three-day leopard and sloth bear census will begin from Friday. The forest department has stationed 100-odd cameras across wildlife sanctuaries to record movements of sloth bears and leopards.A senior state forest official said, "This year we have restricted the flow of volunteers and NGOs in Gir and nearby areas. Only local residents from Junagadh, Gir-Somnath and Amreli will be allowed to be a part of the leopard census in Gir Sanctuary and nearby areas.

The decision to include locals was taken as our previous experience have taught us that volunteers from Ahmedabad, Vadodara and other parts of the state tend to be more interested in their personal photography than movements of the animal."The sloth bear census will be largely reliant on camera traps as the animal's habitat is covered with adequate number of cameras. "Of the 100 odd cameras, 50 are in Gir sanctuary and 10 cameras each in Jambughoda, Ratanmahal, Soolpaneshwar, Balaram-Ambaji and Jessore sanctuaries. Apart from camera traps volunteers and forest officials will be keeping a close watch on animal movements," said the official.Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (wildlife) JA Khan said, "We have deployed 6000 forest officials for the three-day exercise.


Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/Sloth-bear-leopard-census-begins-today/articleshow/52353450.cms

Gujarat:13 lions en-caged after spate of big cat attacks

Published: 22nd May 2016 03:03 PM
Last Updated: 22nd May 2016 03:03 PM
VADODARA: As many as three lives were claimed in attacks by Asiatic lions in eastern Gir forests in the last two months, following which 13 lions of a pride roaming in the area were captured and en-caged in accordance with Gujarat government's orders.
"An 11-year-old boy, identified as Jayesh Solanki, was attacked by Asiatic lioness in Dhari taluka. He was found dead in a mango orchard owned by sarpanch (village head) of Ambardi village of Amreli district on May 19," Deputy Conservator of Forest (DCF), Dhari-East range of Gir Wildlife Sanctuary, T Karuppasamy said.
There were pug marks of a lioness near the place from where the body was recovered. His father also got injured in trying to save him, he said. "Prior to the minor's death, two others, identified as 50-year-old woman Labhuben D Solanki and 60-year-old man Jinabhai Makwana, were killed in attacks by Asiatic lions in Bharad village and Ambardi village, respectively, of Amreli district," he said.
With the capturing of three lions last night, the total number of the big cats caught and caged has gone upto 13. This exercise would continue, J A Khan, Additional Chief Conservator of Forest (wildlife) of Gujarat government, said today.
"Medical examination of the en-caged lions would help in ascertaining as to which of the felines attacked the minor boy (Jayesh Solanki). At this juncture, it can not be said with certainty that the lions have turned into man-eaters," he said.
The process of awarding compensation of Rs 2.25 lakh to the kin of the victims has been initiated, Karuppasamy said, adding a case of accidental death has been registered by the police in each of the incidents and further probe is on.
Local residents as well as leaders of Amreli have been demanding action against man-eater lions for quite some time. Man-lion conflicts are rare in and around Gir forests, said to be the last abode of Asiatic Lions, where as per the last census conducted in 2015, the count of the big cat stood at 523.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/Gujarat13-lions-en-caged-after-spate-of-big-cat-attacks/2016/05/22/article3445914.ece

10 lions encaged after spate of big cat attacks in Gujarat


Press Trust of India  |  Ahmedabad 
Ten out of a pride of 13 lions have been encaged in accordance with government's orders after three people were killed by big cats in eastern Gir forests in the last two months.

"We have caught 10 lions so far. We are screening the area to trace the other big cats that are said to be members of the pride of 13 lions roaming in the area," Deputy Conservator of Forest (DCF), Dhari-East range of Gir Wildlife Sanctuary, T Karuppasamy said.

"Out of the 10 lions, four are male and six are female. Next, we would conduct pug mark identification exam and tests to find traces of human hair, bone and remains of clothes from their bodies to ascertain the man-eaters among those," he said.

"The man-eaters, once identified, would be sent to Sakkarbaug Zoo in Junagadh where such lions are kept, while the others would be relocated to a safer zone," the DCF said.

"An 11-year-old boy, identified as Jayesh Solanki, was attacked by Asiatic lioness in Dhari taluka. He was found dead in a mango orchard at Ambardi village of Amreli district on May 19," Karuppasamy said, adding, "there were pug marks of a lioness near the place from where the body was recovered. His father was also injured in his futile attempt of saving him."

"Before that incident, a 50-year-old woman, identified as Labhuben D Solanki and 60-year-old man, Jinabhai Makwana, were killed by Asiatic lions at Bharad and Ambardi villages respectively in the same district," he said.

The process of awarding compensation of Rs 2.25 lakh to the kin of the victims has been initiated. A case of accidental death has been registered by police in each of the incidents and further probe is on, the DCF said.

"People residing in the East Division of Gir forests have been issued warnings of possible big cat attacks from time to time. But they don't follow instructions, causing such tragedies to recur," Karuppasamy said.

Locals as well as leaders of Amreli have been demanding action against man-eater lions for quite some time.

In the wake of rising incidence of the attacks, BJP leader from Amreli, Dileep Sanghani, has written to the state Forest and Environment Minister Mangubhai Patel, seeking killing of lions that attack humans outside the reserved forest area.

Man-lion conflicts are rare in and around Gir forests, said to be the last abode of Asiatic Lions, where as per the last census conducted in 2015, the count of the big cat stood at 523.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/10-lions-encaged-after-spate-of-big-cat-attacks-in-gujarat-116052100931_1.html

Lion falls into 100-ft well in Gujarat, rescued


The lion after it was rescued from the well in Amreli—Photo: Rajan Joshi
The lion after it was rescued from the well in Amreli—Photo: Rajan Joshi

A four-year-old Asiatic lion, which had fallen into a 100-foot-deep dry well in Amreli district’s Jadakla village in Amreli district, was rescued and later released into the Gir forest, officials said on Sunday.
“Last morning, several women from the village saw the lion chasing buffaloes on the farm of one Mayabai Ahir,” Ram Kumar More, Range Forest officer (RFO) at Savarkundla, said.
“When the women screamed, the lion changed its track and accidentally fell into the well. When the villagers alerted them, forest officials rushed to the spot and rescued it using a thick rope after nearly four hours,” he said.
More said a veterinary team entered the well first to ascertain if the lion had sustained injuries. When it was clear that the big cat was unharmed by its fall, he was pulled out. According to More, forest officials did not tranquilise the lion before rescuing him from the well. "The temperature was over 43 degrees Celsius and hence it was not advisable to tranquilise him. After being rescued, the lion was kept under observation for eight hours and then released into Gir forest on Saturday night,” he added. —PTI

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-miscellaneous/tp-others/lion-falls-into-100ft-well-in-gujarat-rescued/article8605927.ece

Taking a break

Sticking together:An Asiatic lioness rests with her cubs at Sasan Gir on a hot afternoon. Usually, there is a lull in wildlife activities in afternoons. Sasan Gir has been successful in increasing the count of Asiatic Lions, which are found only in India, over the years. According to 14th Asiatic Lion Census 2015, the number has been risen to 523 (27 per cent jump compared to previous census in 2010). Their population was 411 in 2010 and 359 in 2005—Photo: Sandeep Rasal
Sticking together:An Asiatic lioness rests with her cubs at Sasan Gir on a hot afternoon. Usually, there is a lull in wildlife activities in afternoons. Sasan Gir has been successful in increasing the count of Asiatic Lions, which are found only in India, over the years. According to 14th Asiatic Lion Census 2015, the number has been risen to 523 (27 per cent jump compared to previous census in 2010). Their population was 411 in 2010 and 359 in 2005—Photo: Sandeep Rasal

Asiatic lion no more endangered species? Govt of India Rajya Sabha reply raises unanswered questions

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

By Our Representative
Is the Asiatic lion, living in and around the Gir sanctuary in Junagadh district of Gujarat, no more an endangered species, at least in Government of India perception? It would seem so, if the latest list of endangered species released by Union minister for environment, forests and climate change Prakash Javdekar in the Rajya Sabha are is indication.
Interesting though it may seem, the Gujarat government “officially” even now thinks that the Asiatic lion is an endangered category, even though it happily states in the state forest department website that has been removed from the list of “critically endangered” species.
To quote from website says, “Based on the recent lion population estimation held in May 2015, the current population of Asiatic Lion stands at 523, an increase of 27% over last five years.” The result is that, “The status of Asiatic lion has been upgraded from critically endangered to endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2010.”
In an answer to a question by Rajya Sabha MP from Chhattisgarh Parimal Nathwani, an ethnic Gujarati, the minister said, there are 20 animal species and 16 plant species in the endangered category in Gujarat (click HERE for the MP's media release on the subject).
Source: Gujarat forest department website
Gujarat’s 20 “endangered species”, the minister said in his written reply, are black mahaseer, golden mahaseer, leatherback sea turtle, green sea turtle, Indian white-backed vulture, long-billed vulture, red-headed vulture, steppe eagle, greater adjutant-stork, great Indian bustard, lesser florican, sociable lapwing, spotted greenshank, forest spotted owlet, dhole, caracal, blue whale, fin whale and Indian wild ass.
Nathwani, who is also one of the topmost executives of the Reliance Industries Ltd, wanted to know about “increase in the number of endangered species during the last two years, the names of such species with the areas/regions of their habitation, whether wildlife habitats are being destroyed due to mining activities in the country and the special efforts being made by government to stop/prevent damage/ destruction of wildlife habitats.”
The Gujarat government officials appear perplexed about whether the Asiatic lion should be placed under the endangered category. While one official said, “I have not come across any such thing”, another said, the Asiatic wildcat “cannot be called endangered anymore.”
The logic provided by the official is, “Since the Asiatic lion does not just live in the Gir national park and sanctuary, so far it’s only abode, and has been moving out because of its increased population, there is reason to believe that it is not endangered.”
The official said, “The carrying capacity of the Gir forests (national park and sanctuary) is a little more than 200 Asiatic lions. Now, the wild cat can be found in large parts of Saurashtra, leave alone Gir forests, thanks to a progressive rise in its population.”
While the official said he believes IUCN “may have” taken into account this factor while “removing” the Asiatic lion from the endangered list, officially, there is “no evidence” on this.
“In spite of the lions living in only one area, the IUCN listed them as endangered – a species still threatened but showing promises of recovery”, an expert site leading with the subject said (click HERE for IUCN’s redlist).
Quoting IUCN officials, the site added, “Asiatic lion exists as a single isolated population in India’s Gujarat state. The number of mature lions has been increasing, all occurring within one subpopulation (but in four separate areas, three of which are outside of the Gir forest protected area). Since the population now extends beyond the boundary of the lion sanctuary, and the numbers are stable, the subspecies is listed as endangered based simply on the population size.”