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Another Lioness Dies in Gir forest, Toll Rises to 14 in Two Weeks

The lioness was found very sick during the ongoing screening of big cats and was brought to the rescue centre in Gir by forest officials.

PTI

Updated:September 25, 2018, 10:16 PM IST
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Another Lioness Dies in Gir forest, Toll Rises to 14 in Two Weeks
Representative image. (Photo: AP)
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Rajkot: A lioness died on Tuesday in Gujarat's Gir forest, taking the death toll of big cats in the region to 14 since September 11, officials said.

The lioness was found very sick during the ongoing screening of big cats and was brought to the rescue centre in Gir by forest officials.

"During the ongoing screening of the lions, we found that one lioness was very sick and another weak in the Dalkhania range," the forest department stated in a release.

The lioness died at the rescue centre, it said.

Efforts are on to capture another weak lioness from the area for administration of treatment, it said.

Earlier, carcasses of 11 lions, including cubs, were found between September 11 and 19. Nine of those were recovered from Dalkhaniya range and two from the Jashadhar range of Gir forest.

The toll rose to 13 Monday, after the death of a lioness and a cub due to illness in Gir forest.

Forests officials have been claiming that infighting among lions and infection caused by injuries are the causes behind their deaths.

The viscera of carcasses of the 11 lions found between September 11 and 19 have been sent to the Pune-based National Institute of Virology to find out the exact cause of their deaths, forest officials said Tuesday.

The samples of rest three lions have also been sent for examination and reports are awaited.

Forest department has formed 54 teams to screen lions to find out if they are suffering from any disease. If any lion is found with any disease, it will be rescued, treated and sent back to the forest, as per the statement.

"Our teams have so far screened 164 lions in the Gir forest area (East and West). We found four lions with minor injuries apart from the two lioness (one sick lioness which died Tuesday and other weak lioness which is yet to be captured). The four lions were treated on the spot and released. Remaining 158 lions are in good health," it said.

As per the 2015 Census, Gir is home to 523 lions, including 109 male, 201 female, 73 sub-adults and 140 cubs. Gir is the only area in Asia, where Asiatic lions are found, and is considered one of the most important protected areas in Asia due to its supported species.
| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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