MAHUVA (BHAVNAGAR): A "lonely" Asiatic lion that has walked away the forest area in Mahuva range has because a cause of worry for forest department officials, who are fearing a man-animal conflict.
The five-year-old lion, which got separated from this group, has been spotted near Otha village, some 20 kms from Mahuva. The animal has generated a lot of excitement among the local villagers as it has been spotted many times along the road going to Talaja.
Forest officials are trying to relocate the lion in its natural environment considering that besides a fear of man-animal conflict, there is also a chemical factory in the area where it is roaming.
"Many a times, this lion is spotted in the bushes along the roadside. People have also tried to go near it to have a closer look. We have deployed our forest staff to keep a close eye on the lion as well as on passersby so that it is not disturbed. However, it is not possible to stop people everytime and there is chance that it may attack," said a forest official.
Forest officials' fears are not unfounded. Recently, a lion had attacked a man in Dholadri village of Amreli district when a group of people tried to disturb it.
Meanwhile, officials have also collected water samples from the site where lion is located in Otha. "There is a chemical unit in the village and water is being released outside the unit. So, as precautionary measures, we collected the samples and asked the unit officials to stop releasing water there. There is a possibility that lion may drink water and face health complications," the official said.
"As of now, we are identifying the suitable sites to relocate the lion where it is not disturbed by humans," he added.