In Gujarat, as many as 240 lions and 370 leopards have died in the last two years, Forest and Environment Minister Mulu Bera informed the Gujarat Assembly. Out of these deaths, 26 lions died of unnatural causes, the minister added. The minister provided the information in reply to a starred question asked by Congress legislator Arjun Modhwadia.
The minister stated that out of the 240 lion deaths, 124 were reported in 2021 and 116 in 2022. In the case of leopards, 179 died in 2021 and 191 in 2022. Among the total lion deaths, 214 died of natural causes. In leopards, 256 died natural deaths and 114 died unnatural deaths.
The minister also stated that the state government has taken various steps to prevent big cat deaths, such as appointing a special veterinary doctor, deploying a lion ambulance, erecting speed breakers and sign boards on roads passing through the sanctuary, continuous surveillance by forest staff, formation of a rapid rescue team, erecting parapet walls around open wells, radio collaring of lions, and fencing around the Rajula-Pipavav railway track.
Some of the known reasons for lions’ unnatural deaths include falls in open wells and accidents with moving trains or vehicles on roads.
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