Police have arrested a man for allegedly harassing a lion by chasing the animal with his tractor in a forest area here in Gujarat, an official said on Sunday.
A video recently surfaced in which the accused, Rahul Baldaniya, was purportedly seen chasing the feline with his tractor on a road in Rajula forest range of Amreli. The man was arrested on Friday and his vehicle was seized, the in-charge range forest officer, R A Jinjuvadia, said.
The accused was booked under provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act, the official said, adding that a court granted him bail on Saturday.
The Gir National Park in Gujarat is the only abode of Asiatic lions in the world.
The harassment of lions is a criminal offence and the state forest department has been working to raise awareness about it among locals.
In cases of harassment of lions, the forest department invokes the Wildlife Protection Acts provisions for hunting. In March last year, a court in Gir Somnath district sentenced seven people to jail terms ranging from one to three years for holding an illegal lion show. As per the Gujarat governments 2020 report, the population of Asiatic lions in the state was 674, nearly 29 per cent up from 523 in 2015. The report had also stated that the distribution area of lions in the state went up by 36 per cent.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)