Gujarat: Lion cub killed in infighting; 6th fatality in Gir this month

hmedabad, Sep 29 (PTI) A three-month-old lion cub was found dead at a village near Gir forest in Gujarat’s Gir-Somnath district, with forest officials saying it was killed during infighting among the big cats. This is the sixth lion death in Gir forest area this month.

Residents of Bediya village under Jasadhar range of Gir-East division alerted the forest staff on Tuesday after finding the carcass of the cub lying in a field, located about 300 km from Ahmedabad, Chief Conservator of Forests (Junagadh Wildlife Circle) D T Vasavada said on Wednesday.
Primary investigation by range forest officer and his team suggested that the cub was killed by a lion, he said.

“Since several lion pug marks were found near the carcass, the field staff suspects that the cub was killed during infighting, a common phenomenon among the big cats to establish dominance. Later, the autopsy confirmed that the cub was killed by a lion,” the official said. With the latest fatality, so far, an adult lion, a lioness and four cubs have been found dead in different parts of Gir forest and surrounding areas this month.

On September 2, the carcass of a 12-year-old lioness was recovered from Jamvala range of Gir-West division, and investigations revealed that the carnivore died of old age, as per the forest department data. The same day, a lion cub, aged around six months, drowned after falling into a farm well in a village under Tulsishyam range of Gir-East division, while the carcass of an adult lion was found at a farm in the same range earlier this month.

On September 6, a two-month-old lion cub was found dead in the Sarasiya range of the Gir-East division after it was killed by a lion.
On September 15, a lion cub, about a month-old, was found dead at a forest in Dedakadi range of Gir-West division. As per the last census, there were 674 lions in the Gir forest and surrounding areas. The Gir Forest National Park is the only abode of Asiatic lions. 

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