Joshi, who lives near Girnar Darwaza, spotted the lions at around 2:30 am when he got up to relieve himself. "I couldn't believe my eyes - so many lions were walking on the road right outside my house," Joshi told TOI. He captured the extraordinary 'cat video' from his third-floor balcony.
The areas that the lions toured on Tuesday are heavily populated and crammed with houses, schools, a hospital, and other buildings.
While the lions are frequently sighted on the road near Bhavnath taleti on the foothills of the Girnar mountain, this is the first instance of a pride straying so deep into a town. It is believed that the lions came from the direction of Bhavnath taleti and wandered past the Damodar Kund, a boys' hostel, Gayatri temple, and a prominent Jain derasar. Roughly , 10,000 persons inhabit the areas along road taken by the lions.
The emboldened wild cats also strolled past the historic Ashoka rock-edict which, curiously, exhorts people to protect wildlife and warns of life imprisonment for slaughtering animals. The modern-sounding laws were etched in stone around 1,800 years ago.
Top CommentThe Lions and cubs have inspected Junagadh and decided on who''s who on the menu! They will be back for dinner! why do we not send some Gir lionesses to Srinagar to help the befuddled security ?
The pride returned to the forest area near Datar Road after an hour-long excursion.There are approximately 45 lions in the Girnar Wildlife Sanctuary, which spans over 17,827 hectares. Junagadh is located just two kilometers from the boundary of the sanctuary. "Lions often come close to residential areas in Junagadh," said Dr Jalpan Rupapara, a wildlife conversation expert in Junagadh.
"In fact, Girnar Darwaza is barely 100 metres from the sanctuary. More of such incursions, especially in monsoon, can't be ruled out, considering that the lion population in Girnar is growing," he said.