March 20, 2016 6:17:57 pm
TWENTY FOUR hours after a man was allegedly mauled by an Asiatic lion in Ambardi village of Amreli district, forest trekkers were still trying to locate the alleged man eater in the Gir East divison area on Sunday.
Zeena Makwana (51) was found dead in the bushes near agricultural field of one Haresh Bambhaniya in Ambardi village of Dhari taluka of Amreli early on Saturday morning. According to Chalala police, Makwana, a native of Mota Ankadiya village of Amreli taluka was working as a cook for a group of labourers who were levelling the field of Bambhaniya. However, when a roar of lion woke them up, the three other labourers found Makwana missing from his bed. After a search, his head, an arm and a leg were found in bushes in adjoining filed, said police.
“The victim was sleeping on the ground while others were sleeping in charpoi. When they woke up at around 5 am on Saturdya following roars of lion, they found Makwana missing. When they followed a trail suggesting that somebody had been dragged, they found Makwana’s head and other body parts in the bushes,” assistant sub inspector of Chalala, Ramesh Chavda said.
Forest officers confirmed that a lion killed the labourer. “There were pug marks of a male lion near the place where body parts of the labourer were found. Though there is no concrete evidence, we believe the man was killed by a lion. The incident took place in revenue area but a lion pride lives in the area,” deputy conservator of forest (DCF) of Gir East divison, Kruppasamy told The Indian Express.
The incident took place some three kilometres away from the proposed Ambardi lion safari park near Dhari town.
“We have placed three cages to catch the animal. But no lion nor any leopard has been caught. Efforts are on to track the lion pride,” the DCF further said.
Lions scarcely attack human being unless teased or harassed. But leopards can kill human beings. However, forest officers suspect that the man might have been killed during an illegal lion show. ” People hold illegal lion shows in Ambardi and Dalkhaniya ranges and irritate animals. Lions generally don’t attack humans unless irritated. We suspect the incident in Ambardi could be one such,” said an officer on the condition of anonymity.
Incidentally, a farmer was allegedly killed by a lioness when he allegedly teased her and her two cubs in Mota Agariya village of Rajula taluka in Amreli district two years ago.
The DCF said that they had initiated the process of awarding compensation to the kin of the victim and were waiting for post-mortem report of Makwana.
Chalala police has registered a case of accidental death and further investigation is on.
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