AN ASIATIC lion sneaked into a school building while trying to make a kill in an adjoining livestock enclosure in Paswala village of Una taluka in Gir Somnath district. It was later rescued, forest officers said on Sunday.
Officers of Gir (west) wildlife division said that a fully grown male lion attempted to prey on a buffalo calf kept in an enclosure adjoining the village primary school in Paswala late Wednesday. When the livestock owner raised an alarm, the carnivore escaped.
“There is a compound wall separating the school building and the livestock enclosure. After someone raised alarm, the lion sneaked into the school building through a hole in the wall. Sarpanch of the village alerted our field staff at around 4.30 am,” Nikunj Parmar, assistant conservator of forests in Una, said.
Parmar said that rescue team of Jasadhar range launched an operation to rescue the lion from the school building by first blocking all exit points and then placing a trap cage in front of one of the doors in iron grill in the front facade of the school.
“However, that strategy remained unsuccessful and the lion managed to go upstairs. It climbed its way down after around 30 or 40 minutes. As the school is inside the village and morning was wearing on, we didn’t thought it proper to let the lion escape. Therefore, the animal was tranquilised and taken to Jasadhar animal rescue centre,” said Parmar who led the rescue operation.
Later on, a video of the rescue team trying to rescue the lion went viral. In the video, the big cat is seen roaring and trying to break the iron grill.
Parmar said that the lion which is believed to be around six years old didn’t sustain any injury. “It was kept under observation for a day and later on released in the wilderness. This lion is a lone ranger and is known to our staff. There were no other lion in or around that village that day,” the officer said.
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