I realise this is not Africa, but it is an important story. In 2018, the Gujarat forestry department said there were 607 lions in Gujarat, but that 21 had died from a tick-borne virus. This new figure of 138 adult lions dying is 22% of the probable adult population and a large number of new cubs have also been reported as dying. Very worrying. Tick-borne diseases nearly wiped out Ngorongoro lions a couple of decades ago. This shows how selfish and stupid the Gujarat government (and the Gujarat and Hindu chauvinist Modi) is being in refusing scientifically-based proposals and a court order from the Indian Supreme Court to relocate some of the lions to national parks outside Gujarat to prevent shrinking of the gene pool and having all lions in one place and vulnerable to disease (as is now happening) and natural disasters. Idiotic and could see the eventual demise of the Asiatic lion. KS

 

The Hindu (India)

 

261 lions, cubs died in Gujarat in last two years

PTI

GANDHINAGAR , MARCH 05, 2020 19:37 IST

 

11 lions and six cubs died due to “unnatural” causes, such as getting hit by a train or falling into a well in Gujarat in the last two years   | Photo Credit: C.V.Subrahmanyam

 

In addition, 250 leopards and their 90 cubs also died in the last two years in Gujarat

Over 260 lions and their cubs died in different parts of Gujarat in the last two years, the Gujarat government told the Legislative Assembly on Thursday.

Of these, 11 lions and six cubs died due to “unnatural” causes, such as getting hit by a train or falling into a well, the government said.

Replying to a query by Congress MLA Vikram Madam, State Forest Minister Ganpat Vasava said in a written reply that total 138 lions and 123 cubs died in 2018 and 2019.

 

 

In addition, 250 leopards and their 90 cubs also died in the last two years in the State.

 

Of these, 79 leopards and 16 of their cubs died due to unnatural causes, Mr. Vasava said.

On a sub-question about the steps being taken by the government to prevent unnatural deaths, Mr. Vasava listed several measures, including appointment of veterinary doctors as well as trackers, building of parapets around wells near forest, fencing along the railway tracks, construction of speed breakers on roads passing through sanctuaries.

He added that a state-of-the-art hospital is also being constructed at Sasan-Gir to provide timely treatment to lions and other old animals