By Himanshu Kaushik
AHMEDABAD: The state forest department seems to be groping in the dark while searching for the bones and chopped legs of the lion cub that is suspected to have been killed by poachers in Amreli. The department has formed special teams to inspect the area around Liliya where the incident took place and has launched a combing operation in the nearby villages to nab the poachers.
On Friday night, a five-month-old lion cub was found dead on the outskirts of Gir sanctuary in Chandgadh village near Liliya in Amreli district. The cub's carcass was found in mutilated condition. Forest officials suspect that the poachers may have cut off its feet after trapping and killing the animal.
An official involved in the search operation said that in the last 36 hours of intensive search, they could only get some pieces of bones which might have been eaten by other animals after the poaching.
Since they have failed to find the bones, the officials' suspicion that a gang of professional poachers having killed the cub has only grown stronger. However, initial reports which have been received by the department indicate that all the lions in their respective beats were spotted and found to be safe. However, in the revenue area in Liliya and Savarkundla, even the officials themselves were not aware of the exact count and number.
The officials are keeping their fingers crossed, fearing that more carcass may not tumble out. Officials said that they have even rounded up some local labourers who they suspect to be involvement in the poaching. Officials said that based on their intelligences, these labourers have been rounded up and investigations are going on.
Officials said that they are yet to get a report from the forensic laboratory giving details of the exact time of the death and also as to how many hours after the murder were the legs chopped off.