India cages 13 endangered lions after fatal attacks

2016-05-23 14:25


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Ahmedabad – Thirteen endangered Asiatic lions that only live in a forest in western India have been caught and caged after three villagers were killed in recent months, a wildlife official said on Monday.

The pride of lions has been rounded up from Gir sanctuary in Gujarat state after at least one of the animals last week dragged a teenager from his village while he was sleeping and killed him.

Gujarat's chief conservator of forests, J A Khan, said the lions were captured in recent days from an eastern part of the protected forest in a bid to find the "man-eaters" responsible.

Khan said it was unclear why or how many of the cats had ventured outside of the sanctuary, their last remaining natural habitat, to find prey, describing the attacks as rare.

"Lions that have preyed upon humans will be analysed in detail, while the rest will be slowly introduced back into the wild," Khan told AFP.

"We will be doing a scat analysis which includes testing the animals' faeces for human tissues, chemical analysis of their blood and even genetic analysis," he said.

The cats, slightly smaller than their African cousins and with a fold of skin along their bellies, have been increasing in numbers in Gir, with 523 recorded in the latest census.

Conservationists have suggested some of the lions be relocated to a different sanctuary, to reduce human-animal conflict and avoid being wiped out by disease or natural disaster.

In the latest attack, the 14-year-old boy was dragged from his sleeping spot in a mango orchid in Ambardi village near the forest on May 20. His father was also injured while trying to scare the animal away.

A lion also killed a 50-year-old woman on April 10 in a nearby village as she slept in an open field. At least one of the predators dragged and killed a 60-year-old man as he slept in his hut in Ambardi village on March 19.

The Asiatic lion was listed as endangered in 2008, up from critically endangered in 2000, after numbers improved in the forest.

But the International Union for Conservation of Nature has warned that as the lion survives in only one area it remained vulnerable to extinction from an epidemic or large forest fire.

Read more on:    india  |  animals

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.