Over 40 big cats died during last two months in Guj: Javadekar

New Delhi: Over 40 big cats including lions and leopards have died during the last two months in Gujarat, the government today said.

“There are reports of incidents of death of big cats in the state. Number of cases of natural and unnatural/accidental deaths of big cats during the last two months are 26 lions and 21 leopards,” Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar informed Rajya Sabha.

He said the remedial measures taken by the state (Gujarat) government include construction of parapet walls or capping of opens wells in sanctuaries, training of field functionaries in rescue of wildlife, establishment of rescue and animal welfare centres and others.

Regular patrolling by field staff in protected areas and forest areas, equipping staff with vehicles and weapons, establishing and strengthening of modern communication, creation of network of Vanya Prani Mitra, involvement of NGOs and others have also been undertaken by the government.

It may be mentioned here that a recent flash floods had wreaked havoc in some parts of Gujarat and also led to death of lions apart from other animals.

Replying to another question, Javadekar said that 22 blackbucks have died in a zoo in Raipur which are presumably due to Pyrethroid group of insecticides.

“Death of 22 blackbucks occurred during the period of May to July 2015 in Nandanvan zoo in Raipur. Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Bareilly has conducted investigations on dead animals and in their interim report, the deaths are presumably due to Pyrethroid group of insecticides,” Javadekar said.

The Chattissgarh government has not indicated any polluting industry in the immediate vicinity of the zoo, he added.

Replying to another question, Javadekar said that 169 villages have been relocated from the notified core in various tiger reserves since the inception of Project Tiger while 582 villages are still remaining.

He said that special tiger protection forces has been raised, armed and deployed in four tiger reserves – Bandipur (Karnataka), Pench (Maharashtra, Tadoba-Andhari (Maharasthra) and Similipal (Odisha).