Monday, June 4, 2012

Lion dies of pneumonia in Gir forest... Dethroned king given regal send-off.

AHMEDABAD: It is a law of the nature that the loser in any turf-war has to quit the lost territory. In Sasan though, foresters noticed an exception to the rule. Two new kings, who now lord over a huge portion of Gir sanctuary in the tourism zone, watched over the old king till he breathed his last on Saturday evening.
The two brothers who have established their supremacy over the biggest pride of the Gir forest, instead of pushing the old lion out, stayed close to the old lion till he died.
The old king died of pneumonia in Dedakadi range of Gir forest. "A male Asiatic lion aged around 12 years died last evening in Kherambha forest of Gir (west) division," Dr Sandeep Kumar, deputy conservator of forest (DCF) wildlife division Sasan-Gir said.
Lion's carcass was brought to the wildlife care center in Sasan on Sunday morning for postmortem.
For over a fortnight, the forest officials were constantly keeping a watch on the activity of the lion as five invaders, including two lion brothers, were aiming to capture a swath of territory in Kherambha round. The king of the area was being forced to spend all his diminishing energies to protect his kingdom.
The lion, who died on Saturday evening, ruled a pride comprising of 32 members - one of the biggest in the Gir sanctuary.
Forest officials said that because the battles were being fought in the tourism zone, they were keeping a close watch on the conflict. The area also had a large number of newborn cubs and in the fight to annex territory, invaders could attack the cubs, so a constant watch was required.
On Tuesday, senior forest officials including additional principal chief conservator of forest H S Singh, conservator of forest R Meena, were among those present in the sanctuary keeping a watch.
An official said that five lions had invaded the area. Of these, two brothers captured the territory, but instead of throwing the loser out, it was noticed that the new rulers were staying close to him.
On Tuesday, since morning, the two guarded the old lion and took up vigil about 50 metres on either side of him. They did not move away from the area till foresters took away the body for postmortem.

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