AMRELI: In a tragic incident, three young Asiatic lions, two male and one female, were run over by a speeding goods-train in wee hours on Tuesday at Savarkundala range of East Gir forests in Amreli district of Gujarat.
CCF, Junagadh and spokesperson of forest department D T Vasavada said that the accident took place in revenue area near Barola village under Savarkundala range of the East Gir forest.
'The goods train was en route to Pipavav from Botad. At around 0045 hrs a pride of six lions was also moving on the same track. Three of them, a male aged around 2 years, another male and a female both aged around 1.5 years were run over the train and died on the spot,' Vasavada said.
Terming the accident as unfortunate, he said that an inquiry has been ordered about it.
'The probe is about speed of the goods-train at the time of the accident and also the negligence of trackers and forest staffs. Strict action will be taken against whoever is found guilty,' he said.
Notably, the Gir forests, spread in more than 1800 square kilometres across three districts of Gir-Somnath, Junagadh and Amreli in Saurashtra region of Gujarat is the only abode of Asiatic lions.
It houses 523 lions according to the last lion's census of May 2015.
Railway tracks cross through the jungle on which goods train bringing containers from Pipavav port and passengers train ply regularly.
Despite the steps taken by the government and funds allocated for fencing and other steps, the incidents of lions and other animals run-over takes place in the area.