News Update: 240 lions have died in Gir National Park in the last two years. The figures regarding the death of such a large number of lions were disclosed by the Gujarat government itself in a question asked in the State Assembly.

Sad news has come out from the world famous park of Gujarat's Gir National Park, also known as Gir Wildlife Sanctuary. Gir National Park which is the only abode of lions in Asia where tourists come from all over the country to see the lions, their number has reduced to less than half in the last two years. This disclosure has been made by the Gujarat government itself. You will be surprised to know that 240 lions have died in the last two years in Gir Wildlife Sanctuary.

These figures were given by the Gujarat government on Tuesday in response to a question raised by Congress MLA Shailesh Parmar. Gujarat government said that 240 lions died in Gir National Park in the last two years. In 2021, the government had reported the death toll of lions as 124. Whereas in 2022, 116 lions died.

Gir National Park is the only place where Asiatic lions are found.

Gujarat's Gir Sanctuary and National Park - the only habitat of Asiatic lions - has lost 240 lions in the last two years. These deaths amount to approximately 36% of Gir's lion population, necessitating further steps to be taken in the state's wildlife conservation efforts.

Most of the lions that died had cubs

Of the 124 lions that died in 2021, there were 32 lions, 32 lionesses and 61 cubs i.e. lion children who died. A total of 116 lions died in 2022, which included 21 lions, 28 lionesses and 62 cubs. If we look at these figures, most of the dying lions are cubs.

The government explained why these deaths occurred

240 lions, including 128 cubs have died due to natural and unnatural causes in the last two years ending December 31, 2022, in the Gir sanctuary and surrounding areas, the state government told the Gujarat Assembly. Overall, 214 lions died due to natural causes and 26-13 due to unnatural causes in each of 2021 and 2022.

Know how much the number of lions is continuously decreasing

In May 2020, the state government estimated the lion population at 674, up 29 per cent from the 2015 figure of 523, according to government data. In 2021, the government had reported the death toll of lions as 124. Whereas in 2022, 116 lions died. Of the 240 lion deaths in the last two years, 53 were males and 59 were females.

Gujarat government gave this clarification

The government also told the Assembly that it has sought financial assistance for lion conservation under 12 different heads but the central government has not released any funds. However, forest officials defended the Centre, saying it was still in the process of finalizing Project Lion and hence the grant had not been released yet. Forest officials defend their conservation efforts, saying the number of deaths has been declining from 2020 when it stood at 159. Wildlife experts and researchers said the canine outbreak in 2018 itself had raised alarm bells.