A lioness and a cub died on Monday due to illness in Gujarat’s Gir forest taking the death toll of big cats in the region to 13 since September 11.
The lioness was rescued on Sunday by a forest department team engaged in screening sick lions, while the cub had been shifted to a rescue centre from Gir’s Dalkhania range on Monday, forest department officials said.
Earlier, carcasses of 11 lions, including cubs, were found between September 11 and 19. Nine of those were recovered from Dalkhaniya range and two from the Jashadhar range of Gir forest.
In a release issued Monday, the state Forest department said a chip was found fitted on the deceased lioness, which suggested that it was the same one that had been released last month after being provided medical treatment.
The death of the lion cub, the department claimed, was natural and as 70 per cent of lion cubs fail to reach adulthood.
Around 100 lions die annually, with the death rate peaking during monsoon. On an average, 31 to 32 lions in Gir die during the three months of monsoon every year, the release said.
On Sunday, the forest department had said 64 teams, having 270 personnel, had been formed to identify and rescue ailing lions in Gir forest.
According to a 2015 census, Gir is home to 523 lions, including 109 male, 201 female, 73 sub-adults and 140 cubs.