An Asiatic lion attacked alleged poachers in an attempt to save her four cubs in Sutrapada taluka of Gir Somnath on February 3, Wednesday.
Sunil Berwal, deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF) of the Junagadh territorial forest division said that the lioness attacked four alleged poachers who tried to trap her cubs by putting a net on government wasteland at Khamba village near Prachi in Sutrapada taluka of Gir Somnath district. One of the accused, Habib Samsher Parmar, 40, is a resident of Thangadh in Surendranagar district. He and his three mates were taken into custody by a joint team of forest department and Junagadh district police, said forest officials.
Berwal, while narrating the incident, said that such traps are used to capture small animals and a lion cub was stuck in it on Wednesday morning. The mother of the cub attacked the men and the injured had to be rushed to a hospital in Talala where the doctors alerted the forest department.
He added that after the alert, their team reached the spot to find a cub’s leg stuck in a clamp-like trap. The team rescued the cub who suffered only minor injuries. The DCF also stated that Parmar and his associates, sensing that the forest officials might look for them, ran away from the hospital. He stated that they are investigating the intent of the men if they wanted to poach a lion or other animal. He added that it looks like a poaching attempt.
Range Forest Officer of Talala in Gir wildlife division, Bimalkumar Bhatt, said that Parmar ran away carrying the oxygen cylinder that helped him breathe but was nabbed near Vadla village in Vanthali taluka. He further said that they were caught in a "well-coordinated; operation" by the police and forest department. While the injured one was admitted to civil hospital in Junagadh, his associates were brought in for questioning.
It has been reported that the forest department is looking for other members of the alleged gang and their real identities.