AHMEDABAD: The forest department ordered an inquiry after photographs of cricketer Ravindra Jadeja having got down from his vehicle in Gir forest and posing along with lions went viral on Thursday. Jadeja posted a photo of himself and his wife Reeve Solanki posing with endangered Asiatic lions. Incidentally, Jadeja had violated the forest rules by getting off the safari jeep and posing with the animals.
Chief conservator of forests AP Singh said Jadeja had visited Sasan Gir on June 14 and June 15. "We have got photographs that show that he got down from his jeep and took photographs," he said. "The Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) J A Khan and PCCF Dinesh Mishra have taken note of this incident and have been asked to inquire into it. I have asked the Deputy Conservator of Forest (Headquarters) Ram Ratan Nala to conducted a probe and send a report," Singh said.
Jadeja has breached the security officials' warning as the forest department had asked visitors not to take selfies with the big cats earlier this week following incidents in which three persons, including a 14-year-old boy, and a woman, were killed by lions. The Gir forest is known for the Asiatic lions, who have been classified as critically endangered in 2008. Despite the numbers improving to 523 in a recently recorded census, the forest officials have been extremely cautious after the fatal instances at Gir, which is the only place where Asiatic lions remain in the wild.