The Gujarat government has ordered a high-level inquiry into the Tuesday night’s incident where two lions were run over by a speeding vehicle near Jafrabad in Amreli District ( Rajkot, Gujarat ) additional chief secretary, forest and environment department, H.K. Dash said on Wednesday that the inquiry will be conducted by the chief wildlife warden.
The lions, both about 18 months old, were run over when a pride was crossing the coastal highwat near Hemal Village on Bhavnagar – Somnath Highway. This was the first incident of lions being killed in road accident forest
department, on Wednesday registered a case against the driver of an unidentified vehicle in this case.
While wildlife activists in Amreli ( Rajkot, Gujarat ) have blamed the string of lion deaths recently in this coastal belt on the laxity of forest department, the government has said that it has taken a series of measures after the January 22 incident where two lionesses, one of them pregnant with three cubs, were run over by a train near Pipavav Port.
“This was waiting to happen as there is no night patrolling and enough staff in Rajula and Jafarabad forest range to track the lions’ movement. There are over 40 lions settled in Rajula – Jafarabad coastel belt but no regular monitoring of lions is done. Since lions have settled around industrial area, railway track and busy roads, there is an urgent need to constantly track them to avoid such accidental deaths,” said Vipul Laheri, honorary wildlife warden, Amreli ( Rajkot, Gujarat )
Meanwhile, Dash said that on February 14, the forest department and railways had a meeting to discuss ways to avoid such incidences. “As many as 82 trains drivers have been trained on precautions to take in the area. They have been given maps of sensitive areas where lions frequently cross the tracks.”
“We have also called a meeting with National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to chalk out ways to prevent any such occurrences on reads,” he said. A senior forest official told TOI that they have also trained 20 trackers in the Rajula belt to monitor.
Courtesy:- Times of India