A 35-year-old man was mauled to death by an Asiatic lion after he tried to save his goat from the carnivore in Madhupur village in Talala taluka of Gir Somnath district Saturday. Forest officers said the big cat was rescued within hours and shifted to a facility where it will be kept under observation.
Bahadur Dabhi, a primus stove repairer-cum-bangle seller, was attacked by a male Asiatic lion after he intervened when the carnivore pounced on his goat outside his hut in Madhuvpur village on Madhupur-Dhava road at around 1 am on Saturday, Dushyant Vasavada, Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF) of Junagadh wildlife circle, said. The area where the incident took place falls in Talala range of Gir (west) wildlife division, among the prime habitats of Asiatic lions and forest officers, said the big cat was tranquilised and taken to a veterinary hospital after the incident. Vasavada said that the 35-year-old man tried to save his goat but the lion mauled him to death along with his goat and dragged his body to a nearby mango orchard owned by one Bhupat Gadhesaria.
The CCF said that forest staff reached the spot and caged the lion within a few hours. “The man apparently tried to rescue his goat but the lion turned to him and killed him also and dragged his body away. When we reached the spot after being alerted by the family that Dabhi was missing, we found him lying dead in a mango orchard around 200 metres away from his hut. Around 20 metres away from his body, we also spotted the male lion eating the goat,” Bimalkumar Bhatt, range forest officer (RFO) of Talala, said.
Forest officers said that Dabhi was leading a nomadic life, selling bangles and repairing primus stoves.
The RFO said Dabhi’s neck and belly had marks of deep injuries caused by canine teeth of a lion and that he died on the spot.
“The lion, which seemed to be around five years old and prima facie a lone ranger, had become aggressive after the incident and didn’t enter a trap cage we had mobilised. Eventually, veterinarians tranquilised it and shifted it to animal centre in Sasan,” Bhatt, said.
He added, “The lion killed the man but didn’t eat him.”
Forest officers say that Asiatic lions generally never attack humans unless teased or harassed.
Woman injured in leopard attack
Kanchanben Sarola (45), an agricultural labourer, was injured after she was attacked by a leopard while working on a farm at Munjaniya village in Dhari taluka of Amreli on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday.
The woman, however, escaped with minor injuries and was given treatment at a hospital in Dhari village.