Indentify cause of death of lions in Gir sanctuary: SC

The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to ascertain the reasons for the death of 23 lions in Gujarat's Gir sanctuary in the last three weeks.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to ascertain the reasons for the death of 23 lions in Gujarat's Gir sanctuary in the last three weeks.

"Today, we are faced with a peculiar problem. Lions are dying. There seems to be some kind of virus. We do not know. It is coming in newspapers. You find it out," a bench presided over by Justice Madan B Lokur asked Additional Solicitor General A N S Nadkarni, who was appearing for the Centre.

The bench, comprising Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta, was informed that 23 lions have died in the only abode of Asiatic lions in the world in the past three weeks.

"If there is any kind of virus infection, all lions will be wiped out from the area," advocate Ritwick Dutta told the bench, which was hearing a matter related to the re-introduction of cheetahs in India from Namibia in Africa.

The counsel said the manner in which the lions have died suggest that there was a fear of the epidemic spreading to other animals.

The Gujarat government said some of the lions died due to a virus infection. It said it was yet to identify the type of virus that led to the deaths.

During the hearing, the bench asked the ASG about the deaths of lions in Gir sanctuary and said, "What are you doing on the issue of lions? It is very serious".

The ASG told the court that a matter related to lions in Gujarat was already pending in the apex court. He assured the bench that reasons for the death of lions will be found out.

 

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Indentify cause of death of lions in Gir sanctuary: SC

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