"We have formed three teams involving 15 staffs to monitor their movements. We hope that all lions will settle down in their natural habitat soon," said Dr T Karuppasamy, deputy conservator of forests, Gir East division (Dhari).
"A veterinary doctor has checked all the lions before their release into the wild. Our staff have worked round-the-clock in past six months to ensure that the pride of lions settles in the wild again," said Karuppasamy.
The entire release operation was carried out under guidance of chief conservator of forests, wildlife division, Junagadh, A P Singh and with support of R R Nala, DCF, Sasan Gir and Pradeep Singh, (DCF, Gir-west.
"Atleast 35 members of forest department were engaged in the release operation since last 10 days. This included gathering the lions, caging them doing health check-ups and transporting them to the location of release. Each process require meticulous planning and execution." said a forest official.
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These lions were caged following increase in human-wildlife conflict around Gir forests, the last abode of majestic Asiatic lions. The lions were spreading and venturing closer to human habitats.
According to last census of Asiatic lions, there were 523 lions in and around Gir Forests and spread over four districts including Junagadh, Gir-Somnath, Amreli and Bhavnagar.