Police Arrest Hooligans Harassing Endangered Asiatic Lions
A group of men riding motorcycles recorded themselves harassing and chasing Asiatic lions in the Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary in the Indian state of Gujarat. It appears the individuals in question weren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer because they posted the footage they shot online and now they are in trouble with authorities. The incident in question actually took place six months ago in a sanctuary that serves as home to 400 lions. But the video only went viral recently and led forest officials to contact police according to reports in the Indian media.
Lions flee in fear
The footage shows the lions, one male, the other female along with their clubs fleeing in fear from the noise that the motorcycles were making. One man in the video can be heard telling the other man to chase the lion cub. Fortunately, there was at least one man in the group with some basic decency who at the end of the video can be heard attempting to restrain the others and asking them to stop.
Easy to track down the culprits
It wasn’t very difficult for law enforcement officials to locate the hooligans because the license plate numbers are clearly visible in the video. Police with assistance from the Regional Transport Office were able to use the license plate to trace the owner of the motorcycle who was arrested and interrogated, resulting in the arrest of three other people involved in the incident.
Likely to face prison sentance
Anirudh Pratap Singh in an interview with a local newspaper said it was possible that the lions were mating when the incident occurred. He added that as a result of the harassment, the lions may well now attack human beings. Fortunately, the culprits have been apprehended and strict action will be taken against them he concludes. There is a provision in the Indian Forest Act of 1927 which requires six years of imprisonment for harassing endangered species. Asiatic lions used to roam across most of Asia but there is now only a population of 400 left that live in the Gir sanctuary.