Officials in the Gujarat state of India have “arrested” 18 Gujarat lions from Gir forest and have “put them on trial.” There have been six recent lion attacks in the area on humans, three of which ended in death. Officials captured the lions over the course of two months and are now trying to locate the “guilty” one. They being held in separate cages as tests such as paw print and excrement examinations are conducted.
“We think we have pinpointed the guilty lion, but we are still awaiting the results of nine more animals,” said Gujarat’s top forest official, JA Khan.
“The officials are also studying the animals’ behaviour. Man eating lions usually get aggressive at the sight of a human being,” said wildlife expert Ruchi Dave.
Once the offending lion has been identified, it will be put in a zoo for life while the remainder of the lions will be released back into the park.
Gir National Park is home to almost all of the roughly 400 Asiatic lions left in the wild. It is the only population of lions outside of Africa. The population has been increasing beyond the park’s capacity, which has prompted some of the lions to wander beyond the forest. India’s Supreme Court has ruled Gujarat must relocate some of the lions to other states to avoid the entire population being wiped out due to disease or some other disaster, but the rest of India has expressed reluctance to accept any lions into their districts.