Gujarat flash floods killed 10 lions, about 90 spotted deer
New Delhi, July 12: The recent flash floods, which wreaked havoc in some parts of Gujarat, led to the death of ten lions, more than 1,600 blue bulls, and nearly 90 spotted deer among other wild animals.
A report submitted by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests of Gujarat to the Union Environment Ministry said the deaths occurred mainly in Amreli and Bhavnagar districts and forest officials have been able to locate more than 80 lions in these two districts roaming "safely".
"Till July 2 this year, carcasses of ten lions were recovered. Besides, carcasses of 1,670 blue bulls, 87 spotted deer, nine black bucks and six wild boars were also recovered," the report said.
While four lions died in Amreli district, the other six got killed in Bhavnagar district.
Cyclonic depression leading to heavy rainfall of about 26 inches within a short span of six hours in the catchments in Dhari, Bagasara and Kukavav taluka of Amreli district on June 26 caused flash floods in the Shetrunji river resulting in huge loss of lives of people, property and wildlife, the report said.
The flash floods, with water level rising up to nine feet, badly affected and disturbed the riverine ecosystem of Shetrunji and surrounding areas of Amreli and Bhavnagar districts.
"The carcasses of the lions were cremated after postmortem by veterinary doctors, while remains of other animals were buried after rojkam/panchnama in the presence of gazetted forest officials.
"The majority of carcasses of blue bulls were found in the Shetrunji dam at Palitana as they drained along with water of river Shetrunji in the dam," the report said.
However, after the flood, when the officials visited the affected areas, wildlife, including Asiatic lions, was seen moving and fresh kills of blue bulls were also observed.
Some lions found in "weak health and shocked condition" were supplemented with necessary treatment and food by the staff involved in the operation.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Gujarat, S C Pant told PTI Gir lions are moving freely and safely and there are plenty of prey for them.
"Forest department officials with the help of NGOs and the local villagers could locate 17 lions in Savarkundala area, 27 lions in Liliya-Chandgadh-Krakach area of Amreli district and 40 in Bhavnagar district during search and rescue operations after the flood.
"Presently, the lions are roaming safely in their territory, killing wild animals and blue bulls from the surrounding areas. Forest officials are constantly monitoring lions with the help of local villagers and experienced trackers," the report said.
Nearly 300 people including forest officials, NGOs, local villagers and NDRF teams were involved in the operation.
Flash flood triggered by torrential rains also killed more than 40 people in Gujarat, while thousands of people had to be evacuated.