India 'sentences' three man-eater lions to ...

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  • From the sectionIndia
trapped lion in GujaratImage copyrightPRASAHANT DAYAL
Image captionThree lions were found to have human remains in their excrement
Indian officials have "sentenced" three lions to a lifetime of captivity after tests showed they were man eaters.
Eighteen lions in Gujarat state's Gir sanctuary were "arrested" after three people were killed in attacks.
Human remains were found in the excrement of one adult male and two young female lions, Gujarat's chief conservator AP Singh said.
The male lion will be sent to a zoo, while the females will remain in captivity at a rescue centre.
Mr Singh told reporters officials believed that only the male lion had actually attacked and killed humans, with the lionesses eating "leftover" meat.
Six attacks on humans were reported recently near the sanctuary, the only habitat of the Asiatic lion.
Three people - a 14-year-old boy, a woman aged around 50 and a 61-year-old man - were killed between April and May, prompting officials to capture the entire pride of 18 animals.
attacked humanImage copyrightPRASHANT DAYAL
Image captionSix cases of lions attacking humans have been recently reported near the Gir forest
Gir lionsImage copyrightPRASHANT DAYAL
Image captionGir can only accommodate 270 lions, forcing some prides to settle outside the boundaries of the sanctuary
The other 15 lions are free to go back into the sanctuary, but Mr Singh said they would be released into "deeper pockets" of the forest.
Some experts feel that the thriving lion population in Gir is to blame for the "unusual" behaviour by the lions.
Govind Patel, the former chief wildlife warden of Gujarat, told the Indian Express newspaper that Gir could accommodate only 270 lions, forcing some prides to settle outside the boundaries of the sanctuary.
India's Supreme Court has ruled that Gujarat needed to relocate some of its lions to other states to avoid the possibility of disease or other disaster wiping out the entire population.
However, the state has expressed reluctance and not yet complied with the order.


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