A TOTAL of 92 Asiatic lions have died in the Saurashtra region in Western Indian state of Gujarat in the last two years, Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.
Minister of State for Forest and Environment Govind Patel said 83 of the lions died of natural death and nine from accidents in Gujarat, one of the animals' largest habitats in the country.
"There was no incident of poaching in any part of the state," Patel told the state assembly recently.
Patel denied reports that many wild animals including lions were leaving the sanctuary area in and around Sasan Gir due to water scarcity.
"There is no outward migration or lack of water that forces lions to leave forest areas," he said. The 2010 census reveals some 411 lions are found in the state's forests. -Bernama