Gandhinagar, Mar 5 : A total of 261 lions have died in last two years in and around Gir forest in Gujarat, which is the only natural abode of Asiatic lions, Forest and Environment Minister Ganpat Vasava informed on Thursday.
In reply to a question in the state Assembly here,Vasava, however said that most deaths of the lions was due to natural reasons as only 17 have died due to unnatural causes. He said that in 2018, a total of 113 (59 adult lions and 54 cubs) died with only 10 of these deaths being caused by unnatural reasons. In 2019, the total number of deaths was 148 (79 adult and 69 cubs) with the number of unnatural deaths being only 7. Vasava said that as per the last five yearly lion's census of 2015, the total number of lions in and around Gir was 523.
He also said that the forest department in the state has taken a number of steps to protect the lions from unnatural deaths including fencing of around 40 km of railway track in the jungle, making parapet for over 38 thousand open wells in the jungle area. He also informed that in the last two years a total of 340 leopards have also died across the state.
During the year 2016 and 2017, a total of 184 lions had died the Gir forests and around it with the number of unnatural deaths being 32.(UNI)