In an unusual incident, an Asiatic lion recently checked itself into a hotel in Junagadh, Gujarat. The incident was caught on CCTV cameras in the hotel and the footage has since been going viral on social media.
In the viral footage, the lion can be seen leaping over the boundary wall of the recently launched Sarovar Portico hotel in Junagadh on Monday. The Asiatic lion, which presumably came from the nearby jungles of Girnar, caused quite a bit of panic among visitors and staff at the hotel.
The footage, shared by a Twitter user named Udayan Kachchhi, shows the lion nonchalantly entering the hotel through the main gate of the hotel, even as the gatekeeper on guard slunk deeper into his chair in his booth.
"Lions in the city of Junagadh is a regular affair nowadays," Kachchhi wrote while sharing a series of videos.
The videos soon went viral and were shared by IFS officer Susanta Nanda who took to Twitter to point out the need to shift out some of the Asiatic Lions in the nearby Gir Lion Sanctuary, the last known home of the magnificent Asiatic Lions.
It didn’t bother the security to open the gate even...Time to shift some of them to a new home to avoid negative interface. pic.twitter.com/ElWodIvyfs— Susanta Nanda IFS (@susantananda3) February 10, 2021
"Time to shift some of them to a new home to avoid negative interface," Nanda wrote.
Junagadh is located at the foothills of the Girnar hills and is close to the Gir Lion Sanctuary located in Sasan village of Junagadh district, which in 2015 reportedly had over 500 Asiatic lions. Junagadh is also home to the Girnar Wildlife Sanctuary where the Vijay Rupani government recently permitted lion safaris. The new safaris started operating in January this year, making the Par the second protected habitat of the Asiatic lion with a tourism zone.
In a similar incident on January 13, a pride of three Asiatic lions that had strayed beyond its natural habitat in Gir were rescued from Rajkot and relocated.
In a previous incident, a pride of lions had been seen strolling the streets of Junagadh on a rainy night in September 2019. A video of the incident was shared on social media by a resident and had raised similar concerns.