Wildlife & Biodiversity

Gir deaths: one lion, two lionesses found guilty

While the lion killed and ate a teenager, the lionesses were not involved in attacking and killing, and ate leftover body parts

By Rajeshwari Ganesan
Published: Thursday 16 June 2016

Of the 17 lions “taken into custody” on the suspicion of killing three people near the Gir National Park in Gujarat, three have been found guilty.

According to A P Singh, the chief conservator of forest, Junagadh division, of the 17 lions kept under observation, one lion and two lionesses were found to have eaten humans and human remains were found in their excreta.

“The incident occurred late last month when the 14-year-old Jayaraj was dragged away by a pride of 15 lions while sleeping in his farm near Ambardi village at Dhari taluka in Amreli district. His remains were found less than a kilometre away from the farm. We captured the entire pride and observed the scat. Human remains were found abundantly in the scat of one lion and in traces in two sub-adult lionesses,” he said.

The conclusion was that while the lion killed and ate the teenager, the lionesses were not involved in attacking and killing, and ate leftover body parts. “We have decided to transport the lion to the Sakkarbag Zoo and the lionesses will be locked up in one of the rescue centres of the forest department.”

The forest department captured the pride of lions after three people were killed in three separate incidents over the past two months. Prior to the killings, man-lion conflict was rare in Gir. The victims include Jayaraj, and two women aged 50 and 61. Locals, including former Amreli MLA Dilip Sanghani, had staged a protest demanding action against the lions.

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