After precedent deaths of as many as 23 lions in Gir of Gujarat within less than a month, the CM Vijay Rupani announced that the health of lions in the Junagadh sanctuary was now stable and there is no need of relocating them to another place.

In last few weeks, the Gir sanctuary of Gujarat, which is the only abode of Asiatic lions was caught by the threat of canine distemper virus (CDV) and protozoa infections. As many as 23 lions died due to the deadly infection and 36 lions were shifted to rescue centres from the Gir forest as a precautionary measure in less than a month – since September 12. Acting immediately, the Gujarat Forest department ordered 300 shots of a vaccine against Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) and the consignment reached urgently.

Updating about the situation at the Junagadh Gir Sanctuary, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said that a survey was conducted recently to check the health of lions and the surrounding areas. The survey showed that the lions are safe and there is nothing to worry about as all the health reports did not point towards anything negative. Rupani added that these surveys are reliable as they were conducted by high-level experts through blood testing; and to ensure that they remain safe and in good health, a team has been set up which will keep continuous check.

Also, extra vaccinations and medicines are continuously imported from the US and all levels of work were being carried out with the coordination of forest department officials, medical teams and the Government of India to keep “situations under control”. Since everything is alright at the Gir forest, Rupani said that relocation of the Asiatic lions from its only home in the whole world is not needed and the lions will remain in Gir.

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