As the world marks the World Lion Day, Gujarat today boasts of being the abode of 700 Asiatic lions.
Since 2016, World Lion Day has been celebrated every year , on Aug 10 to raise awareness about the ‘king of the forest’ by the Gujarat forest department.
Chief minister Bhupendra Patel launched a lion anthem today via video conference from Gandhinagar. He also launched the ‘Sinh Suchna app’ and two books, ‘The King of the Jungle: The Asiatic Lions of Gir’ and ‘Hu Gujarat No Sinh’.
The state government decided to celebrate the day in 7,000 schools and colleges across 74 talukas of 10 districts- Junagadh, Amreli, Gir-Somnath, Bhavnagar, Botad, Porbandar, Rajkot, Surendranagar, Dwarka, and Morbi.
Increasing numbers of Asiatic lions in Gujarat over the years
The population of lions in Junagadh (Sasan-Gir) has been increasing considerably over the years. In the last eight years, the population of lions increased by 33.84% in the state.
“India is proud to be home to the Asiatic Lions, and over the last few years there has been a steady rise in the lion population in India,” the prime minister Narendra Modi wrote in a tweet.
Despite the tall claims, 366 lions have reportedly died in the last three years. The state government has not been able to control the deaths of lions on railway tracks and in unsecured deep boreholes and wells.
On July 21, 2023 a lion was killed while crossing a railway track in Amreli, and another was injured. “In Gujarat, humans are equally responsible as natural reasons for the deaths of Asiatic lions,” said a forest official.
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