The death toll of endangered Asiatic lions due to flash flood in Amreli and Bhavnagar has gone up to nine as two more carcasses of the big cats were recovered on Sunday.
Forest rangers spotted carcass of a lion on the banks in Maidhar village, downstream Shetrunji dam in Palitana taluka of Bhavnagar district, at around noon. The Deputy conservator of forest (DCF) of Bhavnagar, Ganga Sharan Singh, said that the lion was around five-year-old and was washed away in the flood after heavy rain in Amreli and Bhavnagar districts on Wednesday.
“Our staff have located majority of lions which live in Bhavnagar. Therefore, we suspect that this lion was washed away from upstream Amreli,” said the DCF. This was fourth lion carcass to be recovered from the banks of Shetrunji in Bhavnagar in the last three days.
Carcass of another lioness was reportedly recovered from Ghoba village in Savarkundla taluka of Amreli. Ghoba village is part of Gir East division.
On the other hand, two teams of NDRF scanned nine islands in Shetrunji dam and recovered 135 carcasses of wild animals. Out of them, 130 were of blue bulls, while the rest were bovines, the Bhavnagar DCF said.
“In all, 157 carcasses of blue bulls were recovered on Sunday, taking the toll to around 400 in Bhavnagar alone. Carcasses of nine spotted deer, six wild boars and one jackal have also been recovered so far,” said Singh, adding the NDRF teams will keep on inspecting islands in the dam on Monday also.
Carcasses of as many as 112 blue bulls, seven spotted deers, seven black bucks and a jungle cats have been recovered from banks of Shetrunji in Amreli district. “But in an encouraging sign, our staff have traced location of 27 Asiatic lions in Liliya taluka and they are safe,” DCF (social forestry) of Amreli, Mangal Gujjar said.