Eight cows were mowed down by a train while they were being chased by a pride of lions near Loka village,around 30 km east of Amreli,late Sunday night. The incident took place after three lions raided an enclosure of 36 cows near Nana Liliya village in Liliya taluka around 10 pm.
The cows belonged to Atabhai Zafda and Mepabhai Arjanbhai Bharwad. As lions attacked the herd,the cows in the enclosures ran out, Jitendra Makwana,district forest officer in Amreli,told The Indian Express over phone.
While one cow was killed inside the enclosure,one of the lions chased the terrified cows and killed one more. The other cows kept running and reached Loka village. As they were running along a railway track,a goods train hit them,killing eight on the spot, Bharat Rathod,a forester of Liliya range,said.
Later,while 20 of the cows returned to Nana Liliya,six remained missing till Monday evening.
Forest officers said while Bharwad was a resident of Nana Liliya,Zafda hailed from Bhad Vankia village of Khambha taluka,some 40 km from Liliya,in Amreli. Zafda had 16 cows and had come to his relative Bharwads place in Nana Liliya a few days ago in search for fodder for his cattle. Sources said while all 20 cows belonging to Bharwad had come back,those of Zafdas were missing since they were new to the area.
Forest officers said the two maldharis (tribal herdsmen) would get compensation only for the two cows killed by the big cats. The second incident was an accident and we do not have anything to do with it, the DFO said. The goods train was reportedly going towards Surendranagar from Pipavav port in Amreli.