The three lionesses were found dead in three different areas of Gir — Krankach, Ghoba and Mitiyala. They are said to be above 12 years of age, which is the average life expectancy of lions in the wild. A lioness that was radio-collared is believed to have died due to post-monsoon illness, while the other two deaths were natural as per postmortem reports. Forest officials have since launched a search for lions and lionesses that have taken ill due to heavy rains this season.
Amreli and Gir-Somnath received heavy rain causing a flood-like situation in lion abodes. But for the past 15 days, there has been no rain, but three lionesses were found dead in a week. Two from revenue area and one from forest.
Confirming the deaths, Chief Conservator of Forest, Junagadh, D T Vasavada said, “The deaths do not appear unusual. The lionesses were above 12 years so it appears like natural death.
We are investigating further, as in old age the animal is vulnerable to disease or illness that may have resulted in their deaths.”