Nearly 1,600 officials have been busy for lions head count since April 24 at the Gir Sanctuary which has been divided into various categories for perfect headcount, official sources said adding the preliminary round of lion census has got over and the department is expecting that the lion population in Gir would be higher than the last census in 2004 05.
Now the officials are busy in the final round of lions headcount which will be concluded in the next two days, sources said.
In the 2004-05 lions census in Gir, 359 lions were recorded. Then, the census revealed that some lions were killed by poachers, some died naturally, some killed in infighting and some succumbed after falling down in open wells. But, despite all these causes, the forest department is now expecting to have more than 400 lions in this census, sources said.
The figure of lions population in Gir would be disclosed by Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi on May 1, the Foundation Day of the state, sources added.