Gujarat : Fear Grips Gir Gadhada Taluka as Lioness Roams Residential Area

The lioness, likely from the nearby Gir forest, appeared in the residential area in search of water and prey, driven by the scorching temperatures in Gujarat


GIR SOMNATH,GUJARAT : Residents of Jashraj Nagar Society in Una town, Gir Gadhada Taluka of Gir Somnath district in Gujarat are living in fear after CCTV footage showing an adult lioness wandering through their neighborhood went viral on social media Thursday. The footage, captured late at night, depicts the lioness on the Una-Gir Gadhada Road, sparking widespread concern among the community.

The lioness, likely from the nearby Gir forest, appeared in the residential area in search of water and prey, driven by the scorching temperatures in Gujarat. The incident has heightened residents’ fears as wild animals, including lions, increasingly venture into human settlements during night hours.

“The sight of a lioness so close to our homes is terrifying,” said Ramesh Patel, a resident of Jashraj Nagar. “We are worried for our safety, especially for our children who play outside during the day. The authorities need to address this issue urgently.”

Another resident, Anjali Mehta, expressed her concerns about the frequency of such encounters. “Just a few days ago, a pride of lions was seen near the sugar factory area, which is very close to our society. It’s becoming a regular occurrence, and we are all very scared. The government needs to take steps to prevent these wild animals from entering residential areas.”

The CCTV footage not only captured the lioness but also showed a stampede of cattle fleeing in panic. The sight of such a large predator in a residential area has left the community on edge, fearing further encounters with wild animals.

Local wildlife experts attribute the increasing sightings of lions in residential areas to the extreme heat and scarcity of water sources in the Gir forest. As temperatures rise, lions and other wildlife venture closer to human settlements to quench their thirst and hunt for food.

“The lions are driven by basic survival needs,” explained Snehal Patel of Nature Club Surat (NCS). “With water sources drying up, they are forced to explore new areas, including human habitats. It’s crucial to create more water points within the forest to keep the wildlife from straying into residential zones.”

The Gir forest, the last abode of the Asiatic lion, has been a focal point of conservation efforts. However, the growing human-wildlife conflict is a concern that requires immediate attention. Measures such as creating more waterholes in the forest, enhancing the prey base, and increasing community awareness are vital steps to mitigate these incidents.

In response to the recent sightings, local authorities have increased patrolling in the affected areas and advised residents to stay indoors during the night and early morning hours. They are also working on long-term solutions to prevent such encounters.