Thursday, March 31, 2016

Officials suspect poisoning of lion found dead in Khamba

Rajkot: Another lion being found dead in a farm near Kodiya village of Khambha taluka of Amreli on Thursday has raised the questions about man-animal conflict in the abode of Asiatic lions as the forest officials suspect that the three-year-old sub-adult animal could have been poisoned. Though exact reason for the wild cat's death will be known only after a panel postmortem, the forest officials are not ruling out the possibility of poisoning.

A three-year-old lion was found dead in a farm owned by Bhupat Ramani in Kodiya village, which adjoins the Gir forests. According to forest officials they had spotted a pride of five lions roaming in the area on March 23. However, on March 24 morning they were informed that a body of a lion was found in Ramani's farm.

A forest official on condition on anonymity said that primary observation of the body suggested that the animal could have been poisoned as the eyes of the animal had rolled upwards. The body of the lion has been sent to Jasadhar range for postmortem.

On March 19, two lions had killed a 60-year-old Jinabhai Makwana near Ambardi village in Dhari Taluka of Amreli when he was asleep in an open farm there. While the two lions were caged on Wednesday in Dhari, forest officials suspect that the increase in attack by lions on humans could lead to situation where the wild cats could be poisoned by villagers to ensure their safety.

Forest officials said that this is the fifth lion death in about a week's time. One cub and a sub-adult lion were found dead in Amreli and Junagadh district, respectively, on Wednesday. The cub was four months old and was found dead in Ambaliyala village inside the Tulshishyam forest range in Amreli. Forest officials said that the lion cub had died following infighting between lions.

Another big cat, a two-and-half-year-old sub-adult lion, was found dead near a farm in Rajpara village of Visavadar taluka in Junagadh on Wednesday. Forest department officials said that the animal was suffering from an infection in its hind leg since many days. It seems to have died due to the infection, they added.

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