240 Asiatic Lions died in 2 years in Gujarat

Gandhinagar: The Gir Sanctuary and National Park, which is the only natural habitat of the Asiatic lions, has lost 240 lions in the last two years, amounting to almost 36% of the Gir’s lion population.

The Gujarat government in a response to Congress MLA Shailesh Parmar stated that over the two years ending on December 31, 2022, natural and unnatural causes were responsible for the loss of 240 lions, including 128 cubs, in Gir sanctuary and surrounding areas.

Of the 240 lion deaths in the past two years, 53 were males and 59 were females, with 214 lions losing their lives to natural causes and 26, 13 each in 2021 and 2022, to unnatural causes.

According to a report, A big cat specialist claimed that 53% of the 240 deaths in two years were cubs, and research indicates that about 50% of cubs perish as a result of infighting or being preyed upon. This means that on average, 120 to 140 cubs are born each year in Gujarat.

Another specialist stated, “The high number of deaths indicates two possibilities. Either it could be a disease that is causing the lion fatalities and has not been reported, or the lion population is too high.”

The state government stated in its reply that it has implemented various measures to prevent unnatural big cat deaths, such as hiring veterinary doctors and introducing an ambulance service for timely intervention and treatment of lions and other wild animals.