Gujarat: All 36 quarantined Gir lions fit, to be back in jungle
Ahmedabad, Feb 23: All 36 Asiatic lions of the Gir (forest) division contracted a deadly respiratory and gastrointestinal disease, the animals are now fit and ready to be released into the wild again. This will be the biggest relocations plan, with the largest number at one time was six in Sariska between 2007 and 2012.
The 36 lions suspected to be infected with CDV were moved to the two care centres last October following deaths of over 25 lions over a month.
The Gir lions, an endangered species were vaccinated under intensive veterinary care and as per standard protocol.
CDV is a contagious disease that affects a wide variety of animal families, including domestic and wild species of dogs, foxes, pandas, wolves, and large cats. This deadly virus, which attacks the respiratory and nervous systems of animals, had caused deaths of hundreds of lions in Africa in 1990s.
In 2016, at least four lions that died at Etawah in Uttar Pradesh were infected by the CDV, as confirmed by the Indian Veterinary Research Institute. In early 1994, CDV wiped out 30% of the total lion population in the Serengeti forest areas in East Africa.
204 lions died in Gir forest in 2 years
Over 200 lions died in the Gir forest region in the last two years, the Gujarat government told the legislative Assembly Friday.
Of the 110 adult lions, 43 died in 2017 and 67 in 2018. Thirty-eight cubs died in 2017 and 56 in 2018, the reply said.
Of the 204 deaths, 27 (21 lions and six cubs) were because of "unnatural causes" such as falling into a well or being run over by a train.
As per the forest department's 2015 census, Gujarat was home to 523 lions - the count having almost doubled since 1990, when it was 284. The latest initial estimates put the count at over 600 lions.