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Population of Asiatic lions has increased outside protected area of Gir National Park and Sanctuary

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

 

A recently conducted census revealed that the population of Asiatic lions has increased outside the protected area of Gir National Park and Sanctuary. Therefore, the Gujarat government has decided to form a high-level task force to study their growing habitat. 

The forest department will form the task force to analyze the census data in the wake of growing lion population outside Gir Wildlife Sanctuary, the sole home of the Asiatic lions, officials said. 

“The aim of the task force will be to prepare a report about growing habitat of lions outside the sanctuary and suggest measures to reduce man-animal conflicts,” they added.

P K Taneja, Additional Chief Secretary in State Forest and Environment Department said, “We will chalk out a plan based on the census data, which suggests increase in habitat area of lions. I have asked the officials to form a task force comprising 4-5 senior officials to suggest corrective measures on how to reduce threat on lions and decrease man-animal conflicts.”

The lion population has gone up to 523, which was 411 in the 2010 census, as per the 14th lion census.

Gir forest is spread over 1,412 sq kms, and the census report of 2015 suggests that the habitat area of the lions has increased to around 22,000 sq kms, which is almost double than 2010. 

Out of the total number of spotted lions i.e 523, 268 were registered in Junagadh district, 44 in adjoining Gir-Somnath district, 174 in Amreli and 37 in Bhavnagar. 

On being asked about the extension of the sanctuary limits or form a new sanctuary where lion habitat is found, Taneja said the committee will also look into these aspects. He also pointed out the need for re-deployment of forest staff to keep a check on lion movement outside the sanctuary.

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Possible Lion Mummy Unearthed in Egypt

Archeologists frequently find mummified cats but the recovery of a lion is rare

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Lion, Mummy, Egypt
The golden coffin that once held the mummy of Nedjemankh, a priest in the Ptolemaic Period some 2,000 years ago, is displayed at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, in Old Cairo, Egypt, Oct. 1, 2019. VOA

Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities says local archeologists have unearthed the mummy of an unusually large animal, most likely a lion or lioness.

The ministry said on Monday the mummy was excavated in Saqqara, a town south of Cairo that was a vast necropolis in antiquity and is home to the famed Step Pyramid.

Archeologists frequently find mummified cats but the recovery of a lion is rare. In 2004, the first lion skeleton was found, revealing the sacred status of the animal during ancient times.

Lion, Mummy, Egypt
The ministry said on Monday the mummy was excavated in Saqqara, a town south of Cairo that was a vast necropolis in antiquity and is home to the famed Step Pyramid. Pixabay

The ministry says it will expand on the discovery at a press conference after running radar scans.

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Egypt has stepped up promotion of its archeological treasures in hopes of reviving a tourism sector slow to recover from the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak. (VOA)