A lioness and four blackbucks were found dead in the Gir forest range in Junagadh, a media report said. The animals were found dead near a dam and officials suspect they drowned. As of now, the officials have ruled out any connection with cyclone Tauktae.
“The carcasses were found on the banks of a dam in Vekariya village of Visavadar range forest in Gir West forest division on Friday, and the cause of the death is being ascertained,” chief conservator of forest (wildlife), Junagadh, Dushyant Vasavada was quoted by a news agency.
The lioness is believed to be around 5 to 9 years and died due to drowning. Officials believe the lions may have got trapped while chasing the blackbucks.
Gir forest is in Junagadh district which was among those severely impacted by the cyclone. After the cyclone the department had said more or less all lions were accounted for and were safe.
Fake Gir lion video
Dr. Rajiv Kumar Gupta, Additional Chief Secretary of Forest & Environment Department had in a tweet on Friday apologised for posting a video of lions crossing a waterway in South Africa as that of Gir in Gujarat.
“It is regretted that a wrong video was posted along with a statement of Lion safety in Gir landscape. PCCF(Wild Life)Sh Shyamal Tikadar has apologised for his lapse & indiscretion. Inconvenience & confusion caused is sincerely regretted with an assurance for double caution in future,” Gupta tweeted.
Earlier Gupta while sharing the video and tagging the Gujarat Forest Department had said that forest staff had kept constant monitoring on lion movement in the region during the cyclone.
“A rare video of a Pride in Akolvadi range Gir West crossing a waterway safely, being shared,” he wrote while sharing the clip which later emerged to be of a game range in South Africa. The tweet was later deleted by Gupta.
The tweet of the video was also retweeted by the official handle of the Gujarat Forest Department and Union Minister for Environment and Forest, Prakash Javadekar.
(Image courtesy: Gujarat Forest Department)
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