Sasan Gir, Gujarat
News Update: 22-June-2018
Now, harassing or teasing Lions in the Gir National Park can get you a harsh punishment of 7 years of imprisonment. Recently, the government of Gujarat has announced a tough action against the offenders in the National Park who will harass the King of the forest.
After several incidents of harassing and teasing the Lions in Gir have surfaced recently, the government of Gujarat proposed a sentence of seven years of imprisonment for the lawbreakers. The harsh step was taken in the wake of the many such offending videos of Lion harassment, which surfaced over the social media networks and got viral online inviting a sharp criticism from the wildlife activists and enthusiasts about the security and safety of wildlife in the Gir National Park.
The officials of the Gir National Park and the forest department of Gujarat will also set up a network of local informers who will inform the authorities instantly if any illegal activities occurred in or around the park such as illegal video filming or photography of the Asiatic lion or the illegal lion show organized by the local offenders.
The Gir National Park is among the most popular National Parks in India and the only natural abode of the Asiatic Lions in the world. The wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers used to visit the park for the holiday and Jeep safari in the Gir forest for the wildlife sighting. However, many videos of teasing, harassing and attracting Lions’ attention illegally inside the Gir National Park have damaged the reputation of the park. So, the harsh punishment may work as a big deterrent for the offenders.
The minister of forest in Gujarat, Ganpat Vasava said, “The new decisions were taken to provide a safety net for lions and ensure that they are conserved.” In addition to the punishment, other decisions have also been taken to enhance the safety of the wildlife in Gir such as a declaration of nearly 109 square km of the area near the park located in the Amreli and Bhavnagar districts as a Gir conservation reserve.