Lion death toll rises to 21, 7 more found dead at Gir Forest
Beyond Metros, Gujarat, India

Gujarat: Lion death toll rises to 21, 7 more found dead at Gir Forest

In a shocking news, 7 more lions were found dead in Gujarat’s Gir Forest making a total of 21 lions dead since September 12. The rising number of lion deaths in the national park in such a short span of time is a cause of worry for forest officials and conservationists.

The seven lions whose death is being reported recently were captured from the Dalkhania Range of Gir forest between September 20 and 30 and were kept at a rescue centre.

Post-mortems conducted on the lions who died earlier last month have shown respiratory and hepatic failure to be one of the causes of their death apart from infighting and injuries caused due to it, a release from the forest department said Monday.

“Samples sent to National Institute of Virology (Pune) confirmed the presence of viruses in four cases. In six other cases, veterinary college Junagadh confirmed protozoa infection cause by tick bites,” the release said.

Also read: Gujarat: 11 Asiatic lions found dead in Gir forest; doctors reveal cause of sudden death

Tick-borne illnesses are caused by variety of pathogens, including several types of bacteria, viruses and protozoa.

As an immediate measure, Gir authorities have moved 31 lions to an animal care centre and have kept them in isolation.

Spread across 1,400 sq km, Gir wildlife sanctuary is divided into two administrative divisions. It has a total of 523 lions, according to the census of 2015. Latest estimates by the forest department put the lion population at about 600.

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