Ahmedabad: The Gujarat police have taken 18 Asiatic male lions into custody for the murder of three people in the state. According to the report, the 'suspects' will have their paw prints taken and their feces will be tested as forest officials in Gujarat try to figure which among those 18 lions is the 'murderer'.
And once it is clear who the culprit is, he will be handed a 'life sentence'. That is, the guilty male lion would be sent to a zoo for his entire life. And the rest of the Asiatic lions would then be released back into the wild. The lions had been “arrested” over the past two months and were now being held in separate cages while tests were carried out. “We think we have pinpointed the guilty lion, but we are still awaiting the results of nine more animals,” Gujarat top forest officer as saying to a news agency.
Supreme Court had ruled that Gujarat needed to relocate some of its lions to other states. The need for relocating the big cats from Gir was felt because environmentalists and wildlife conservations feared that an epidemic or natural calamity could wipe out the species if it is concentrated in a single forest. However the state has expressed reluctance and has not yet complied with the order. It is estimated that there are some 400 Asiatic lions left in the wild and most of them live inside the Gir National Park in Gujarat. The Park, on the other hand, can only accommodate 270 which sometimes forces some of the big cats to venture outside and 'clash' with humans.