Thursday, June 30, 2016

Soon, no-selfie zones in Gujarat forests

Getting up close and personal with the lion is violation of the Wildlife Protection Act.Getting up close and personal with the lion is violation of the Wildlife Protection Act.

| TNN |

Ahmedabad: Even as wildlife 'lovers' flood the social media with happy selfies with Asiatic lions in Gujarat, the state forest department is not amused. Post-monsoon, boards declaring 'no selfie' zones will be put up across 20,000 sq km outside protected sanctuaries which is home to 170-odd lions of the total 525 in Saurashtra.

Experts say getting up close and personal with the lion, which is a Schedule I animal, amounts to violation of the Wildlife Protection Act. "Taking a selfie or picture close the lion is not only fraught with danger but may also attract punitive action if caught," said chief conservator of forest, Jungadh (wildlife), A P Singh.

The social media bears testimony to the growing 'selfie with the lion' trend. Gautam Parmar, a resident of Dhari has posted selfie with lions relaxing after a meal in the background. "I am a wildlife lover. On one of my trips in the wild, I encountered two lions resting after a kill. This was a rare scene and I captured it in a selfie in Ravani village in Amreli," Parmar told TOI. The youth pleaded ignorance about taking pictures of lions in close proximity being legally prohibited.

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This is a new craze among the local and is dangerous.Himanshu Kaushik

One Sagar Chudasama has posted nine pictures including selfies with lions on June 4.

It is worth recalling that in 2012 the then state law minister, Dilip Sanghani, had violated forest rules when he stepped out of his vehicle at Gir National Park and got pictures clicked with Asiatic lions. He had invited widespread criticism after he posted these pictures online.

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