Lion axed after it mauls five

March 22nd, 2010 - 7:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Gandhinagar, March 22 (IANS) A farmer axed a three-year-old lion to death Monday after it mauled five people and also tried to attack him in Gujarat’s Junagadh district that houses the Sasan Gir Lion Sanctuary, forest officials said Monday.
The lion was brought down in “self-defence” by a farmer in the wider periphery of Mandanpara village after it attacked him, they said, adding the wildcat injured five others, including a forest official.

The injured, one of whom is reported to have lost a leg, have been admitted to a government hospital.

The Gujarat government had recently admitted in the state assembly that 72 lions had perished in the last two years of which 71 cases were of “natural deaths”.

The announcement comes at a time when the area is preparing for a three-day lion census slated to take place in the last week of April. A three-day mock drill for the actual counting exercise began Sunday.

Former chief conservation of forest G.A. Patel was hopeful that the total number should be touching 400. The lion count in 2005 was 359.

Increased human activity within the wider area of the lion reserve is leading to increase in incidents of animal-human conflicts, he said.

In another incident Saturday, a female leopard was trapped after she attacked three persons in a village near Veraval while the carcass of another was found in a decomposed state from near Dhari.

Forest sources attributed territorial infighting as the ostensible cause of death. All carnivore deaths have been reported from the larger area housing the Asiatic lions in their sole global abode of Sasan Gir in Saurashtra region of Gujarat.

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