A young lion lost his life and another suffered serious injuries while crossing a railway track. A goods train rammed into a coalition of lions near Ucchaiya village in Amreli district at around 2 AM.
The injured lion, shifted to Sakkarbaug Zoo, is undergoing treatment, a report claimed.
Jayen Patel, deputy conservator of forest, Shetrunji division, was quoted as saying, “Trackers found four sub-adults venturing near the railway tracks and a train was already in motion. Finding that they did not have enough time to alert the railway, the trackers went directly to drive the animals away by warning the loco pilot with a torch light. However, before the loco pilot could get the message and apply brakes, the train already hit two of the lions and one of them died.”
While the loco pilot claimed that the train’s speed was within the desired limits, the forest department has sought data from the railways.
Lions often wonder unmonitored on the railway tracks near the villages of Port Pipavav. The tracks were fenced to protect the wildcats but were damaged during the Tauktae cyclone in May 2021. According to the report, the fencing on the track between Rajula and Pipavav is awaiting repairs.
The fencing in a total area of 28km was damaged. While the repair work of 12km was done, work on the rest of the area had stalled.
Lion activists have questioned the forest department’s inaction and the inexplicable delay in repairing the fence even after two years of the Tauktae cyclone.