There has been an unusually large number of lion deaths in Gujarat’s Gir National Park.184 lions have died in 2016 and 2017 and 32 of them died due to ‘unnatural’ causes like falling into wells or getting run over by trains.
Wells without a surrounding wall or parapet have become a death trap for lions and although there is plan to get these built for wells around Gir National Park, the work is not complete. The main problem at Gir though is the increase in the lion population from 359 in 2005 to 523 in 2015. As a result, lions are leaving the park to find territories outside. This results in deaths and conflicts with humans as lions enter farmlands.
Gujarat has failed to create new reserve areas for the lions. The state is also not agreeing to the shift of lions to new areas in Madhya Pradesh. Unless some action is taken and soon, the fate of many lions is uncertain.