Asiatic lions have sauntered close to Rajkot city for the third year in a row during the winter.
In the last fortnight, three sub-adult lions have been spotted in the villages of Jetpur and Gondal talukas, according to forest department officials. The lions are believed to have come from the Bhesan side of Junagadh district, close to the sanctuary area, according to forest officials. Jetpur is a short distance from the sanctuary, and the lions have travelled approximately 35 kilometres to reach these talukas. It’s turned into a lion’s passageway.
Three sub-adult lions were moving in Jetalsar, Thana Galol, and nearby villages, according to forest officials, and they entered a village in Gondal taluka on Thursday.
In one of the villages, they also preyed on wild and domesticated animals, as well as stray cattle. The lions are approaching Rajkot from both directions. They were spotted near Vichiya and Jasdan on the Bhavnagar Road, as well as Jetpur and Gondal on the Junagadh Road.
According to sources, lions are migrating from the sanctuary to the Jetpur and Gondal areas, and from Amreli to the Jasdan area.
Rajkot’s deputy conservator of forests, Ravi Prasad Radhakrishna, told TOI: “This is the third year in a row that subadults have ventured into Rajkot district. Because of the good crop, there is enough water and prey available in the winter. Sub-adults are naturally adventurous and continue to explore new territories, which we believe this is a part of.”
The forest officials are not going too close to the lions but are keeping an eye from the distance and instructing the villagers about their actions
A group of six lions made their way into Jetpur’s Bordi Samadhiyala village in September. In the last two years, lions have entered Halenda village in Jasdan, Sardhar and Tramba near Aji Dam, and villages in Jetpur at various times. The lions, on the other hand, have not remained in the villages permanently.