AFTER SIX human deaths in attacks by lions this year in Gujarat, principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) and chief wildlife warden of the state Jamal Khan Monday said such attacks are mostly reported in the summer as he called for more research on the matter.
Making a presentation on the topic of Policy and Planning Level Interventions for Conservation of Asiatic Lions: Past, Present and Future at a two-day national workshop on lion conservation at Sasan, Khan said the number of deaths recorded this year was the highest in decades. “Data available since 1978-79 suggest that 51 humans have been killed in lion attacks. Almost all of these lion attacks on human have taken place in the months of March, April and May. This calls for more research. The data also suggested that years which recorded the high number of human casualties in lion attacks were also the years of drought,” said the PCCF.
He said the highest number of casualties — seven — was recorded in 1989-90 and 1990-91 each. The year 1988-89 also had reported six casualties. Barring these three years, the number of human deaths in lion attacks had never been more than three in any year from 1978-79 to 2015-16. But the trend changed this year — so far, this calendar year has witnessed six human deaths lion attacks, he said.