"Two lionesses were mowed down by a high speed goods train early this morning near Berai village of Rajula taluka," deputy forest officer JK Makwana said.
This is a first major incident of the big cats being run over by train in recent times. Earlier, a cub was mowed down by a train on the same route over a year back. The site where the mishap took place is around 35-40 kms from the Gir forest, but the movement of lions is regularly witnessed in the area, Makwana said.
A couple of lions were mowed down by a train in the Sasan forest area about 15 years ago, following which trains on the rail line were cautioned to move at a slow pace, which resulted in minimising such accidents there. "We will try to find out solutions to this problem by having consultations with all those involved," Makwana said.
Gir forest and surrounding areas house the last surviving population of Asiatic lions.
As per the last census, the number of lions in and around Gir forest was 411.