by Staff Writers
New Delhi (AFP) July 12, 2015
Ten endangered Asiatic lions, 1670 blue bulls and 87 spotted deer were amongst hundreds of wild animals killed in the recent floods to hit west India's Gujarat, a government report said Sunday.
The flash floods that hit Saurashtra region of the state in late June also killed at least 55 people with thousands evacuating their homes for safer areas after heavy rains.
"Till July 2 this year, carcasses of ten lions were recovered," Press Trust of India (PTI) said, quoting from a report prepared by Gujarat's Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF).
Gujarat is home to about 500 Asiatic lions in their last remaining sanctuary globally.
"Besides, carcasses of 1670 blue bulls, 87 spotted deer, nine black bucks and six wild boars were also recovered," it added.
In some of the worst affected parts of the region the water levels rose by almost 2.8 metres (nine feet) in a short span of time.
The forest department officials and local activists who began the process of assessing damage to habitat and wildlife after the floods, PCCF told PTI, had come across lions in "weak health and shocked condition."
Besides immediate concern for the wellbeing of the affected wildlife, the flash floods have also reignited the ongoing debate about relocating lions outside their only habitat in India.
Several wildlife experts have questioned the government's reluctance to allow the endangered species to move outside its current west India habitat to other suitable sanctuaries across the country.
"There is no way to predict the occurrence of catastrophes, which is why it is crucial to establish at least one more free-ranging population of lions before such risks manifest again," wildlife expert Ravi Chellam, who has studied animals in the region for years, earlier told AFP.
The issue of relocating lions outside Gujarat has been caught in a heated legal and political battle for years.
In 2013 India's Supreme Court ruled that some of them should be relocated to a sanctuary in a neighbouring state.
Even experts have argued that restricting the lions to just one area puts them at risk of inbreeding, disease and extinction.
But the Gujarat government has consistently resisted any move from the state, where the lions are a source of pride.
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.|