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Twenty one lions have died in and around the Dalkhaniya and Jasadar Range of Gir East Division since September 12. Of these eleven deaths were reported between September 12 and 19. Of the eleven, seven lions were found dead in the forest areas while four had died during treatment. Forest department had said that the post mortem report indicated infighting, injury a due to infighting, respiratory and hepatic failure as major cause of death.

The forest department officials said that following the incident all lions residing in the area were rescued and brought to Jasadar Rescue Centre for a health checkup to know of their condition. “BetweenSeptemebr 20 and 30 ten more lions from the forest areas of Dalkhaniya range had died during treatment,” the department said in a release.

It should be noted that when the lions in the areas were rescued and brought to the centre samples including tissue sample of the animals were sent to the National Institute of Virology , Pune and the Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Bareilly in UP as well as the Forensic Science Laboratory, Junagadh.

A report of the NIV in Pune said that in four of the samples, the institute found presence of virus while in six samples that were sent to Veterinary College Junagadh traces of Protozoans, a virus which is spread by ticks was found in the body of lions. It also said that the this seemed to be restricted to lions of Sasasia (Roneo)forest areas.

Following the results, as a precautionary measure, lions permanently residing in Semardi areas have been rescued and kept at Jamvala Rescue centre. “These lions have been kept in isolation and action has been taken to insulate them from the disease. So far no virus has been reported in the 31 rescued lions,” said the department in a release. The state has also called for 10 experts from across India who will be examining the lions.

The department also said that as a precautionary measure certain vaccines was being imported from USA for the lions.

A GROWING CRISIS

  • Forest department officials said that following the incident, all lions residing in the area were rescued and brought to Jasadar Rescue Centre   
  • The department also said that as a precautionary measure certain vaccines were being imported from USA for the lions

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