New Delhi (Sputnik) — India's low number of Asiatic lions took a further hit on Monday night after a freight train in the Junagarh district of Gujarat mowed down three adult members of a six-member pride, according to ANI.
Asiatic lions fall under the category of endangered species, with a total remaining global population of just around 600. Gujarat's Gir forest is the only sanctuary where these lions live.
The incident has galvanised the forest department of the Gujarat state. Commenting on the incident, chief conservator of forests D T Vasavada said they are aware of the matter and are in the process of conducting an inquiry into the incident.
"We will take action under Wild Life Protection Act against the guilty," Vasavada said as per an ANI report.
Meanwhile, Roopa Srinivasan, Bhavnagar's divisional railway manager, said, "We have to examine what went wrong as we usually are provided alerts on lion movements prompting us to reduce train speeds."
Normally, train speeds are not allowed to exceed 40kph in areas where lions are known to reside. Reportedly, the driver of the goods train did not follow this speed limit, potentially resulting in the accident.
"There are suggestions for us to install infra-red cameras on trains. This will help us avoid such accidents," said Srinivasan