For many in the area, it was a worrisome moment to see lions roaming freely in the vicinity of their neighbourhoods in Junagadh District. The big cats apparently came from the nearby Girnar Wildlife Sanctuary.
The situation came to light after a resident managed to record footage with the help of a cell phone. The video clip shows a pride of seven lions roaming in residential areas; it is suspected that the animals came out of the nearby Girnar Wildlife Sanctuary after a downpour in the area.
@CMOGuj @vijayrupanibjp @jitu_vaghani @dgpgujarat received on whatsapp, it says 10th september night, Lions roaming at Girnar Taleti, kindly ask forest department, police to patrol & check pic.twitter.com/nzMCpKWhgW— Manan Shah (@MManan1313) September 12, 2019
The Deputy Parks Ranger in Junagadh District said the lions of Girnar mountain are often sighted in the surrounding areas. But they are harmless.
“Please note that lions of Girnar Sanctuary are safe. Rains or no rains, these lions do cross through these parts of Junagadh city at times of their own free will. It is a natural behaviour for the lions in Girnar.
Please note that Lions of #GirnarSanctuary are safe. Rains or no rains, these lions do cross through these parts of Junagadh city at times of their own free will. It is a natural behaviour of the lions in Girnar.— DCF Junagadh (@DCF_Junagadh) September 12, 2019
Many Twitter users expressed their concern over the alarming situation which forced the lions to leave their natural habitat and enter residential areas due to human encroachment.
Witnessing this alarming sight for the first time. Pack of lions entering human habitat near Girnar, Gujarat after floods. How dangerously have we encroached their spaces and how dangerous it is for humans living there.https://t.co/FfCWvuDMHu— Nagaraj (@rajuvijai) September 12, 2019
In February, a similar video of lions crossing a road in Junagadh district's Bhavnath Village went viral on social media.
Earlier, in the State that is home to four National Parks and 23 wildlife sanctuaries, several crocodiles were also spotted in the residential areas of the Gujarati city of Vadodara after heavy rains inundated the area.