Ahmedabad: At least 10 more lions have died in Gujarat's Gir forest, taking the overall death toll to 21 since September 11, the forest department officials confirmed on Tuesday.
An official from the Gir forest department revealed that 11 lion deaths were reported between September 11 and September 19, while 10 more big cats died in the next 10 days which means one death daily.
Unidentified infection in liver and kidney and internal fights between the lions are stated to be the main cause of death of the lions.
Junagadh chief conservator (wildlife) Dushyant Vasavda said, "The death cases are being looked into at the National Institute of Virology and Veterinary College, Junagadh. Scientists from the Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Uttar Pradesh, have been called to look into the matter. Moreover, the Gujarat government is making arrangements for required medicines and vaccinations from America."
He further said, "The deaths have been reported from Sarasiya area in Dalkhaniya range. Over 2,000 forest department staff divided into 140 teams have checked 3,000 square kms of Gir area and found more than 700 healthy lions."
Meanwhile, 31 lions have been kept under observation in Akandkar Jamwal Animal Care.
Gir forest is the only natural habitat for the Asiatic lions. In 2015, a total of 523 lions were found in the forest.