Gujarat, June 16: One of the 17 lions, captured last month for killing three people near the Gir sanctuary, has been identified as a man-eater. He has been shifted to the Sakkarbaug Zoo in Gujarat.
Chief Conservator of Forest (Junagadh division) AP Singh said, ""A man was killed by a pride of 15 lions. We captured one and found it to be a man-eater. We have now sent the lion to Sakkarbaug Zoo. We have decided to capture the entire pride and shift them. Till now, we have captured 13 lions and kept them in a rescue centre. A scat analysis will be conducted there."
"We found considerable amount of human remains in that lion's faeces, while very small amount was found from the faeces of two sub-adult females. It brought us to the conclusion that the male lion attacked, killed and ate humans, while two other sub-adults only ate some leftover body parts. These sub-adults were not involved in attacking and killing humans, as they only ate the leftover parts," he said.
Singh added that the male lion will be kept in a cage all his life, while the two other lionesses will be locked in a rescue center.
He further added, "All the three lions have to spend their lives in captivity now. The other 16 lions of the pride, including several cubs, will be released in the (Gir) sanctuary. As a precaution, they will be released in deeper pockets of the sanctuary, far away from where they were captured."
All the 17 lions were captured last month outside the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary in Dhari taluka of Amreli District, which is situated at the border of the sanctuary. The forest department started to cage the lions after 3 persons- a 14-year-old boy, a woman aged around 50 and a 61-year-old man- were mauled to death in April and May.
Gujarat is the only abode of 523 Asiatic lions. These incidents angered the locals, who along with Amreli MLA Dilip Sanghani, demanded action against the lions.