The heat is rising and that is bad news for the foresters in Gir who have already seen 70 out of the 411 lions straying out of the core sanctuary area.
With the region staring at water scarcity in the coming months, concerns are being expressed over the well being of the prized animal. Gir, which receives around 1800 mm of rainfall annually, only got about 600 mm last year.
Significantly, as many as 92 lions have died in the sanctuary in the last two years. Though the number is not considered unusual by the government, Gir - with a population of only a little above 400 beasts - being the last home of the Asiatic lion, the deaths cannot be taken casually.
For the time being though, the use of wind and solar powered pumps has allowed foresters to draw water slowly and keep it fresh and flowing, enhancing moisture in the area. "This way the place becomes hospitable for the animals on hot afternoons," said an official.