Vadodara: In the wake of delayed monsoon in Saurashtra region, the Gujarat government has made special arrangements to fill water at more than 400 points in Gir National Park, housing various wild animals including the Asiatic lions, to quench their thirst.

Dr Sudeep Kumar Nanda, Principal Secretary (Forest and Environment) told that due to deficient rainfall this year depleting water levels in rivers, ponds, wells and kundis which serve Gir, have created big problems for animals at the Sanctuary.

In normal course, forest authorities close down 400 water points at Gir by June 15 every year expecting good rainfall.

However, this time the poor position on water front for lions and other animals forced the state government to keep all these points open till it rains sufficiently, Nanda said.

These water points are being filled at regular intervals through various means using manual labour, tractor-driven water tankers, solar pump sets and wind mills, he said.

The water situation deteriorated when seven rivers namely Hiran, Saraswati, Datardi, Shingoda, Machhundri, Ghodavadi and Raval passing through the sanctuary started drying up.

Authorities in Gir have also constructed artificial water ponds for animals, as they often stray into human habitation in search of water, said Nanda, who visited the sanctuary earlier this month to evaluate the situation.

The Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as Sasan Gir, is the only abode to 411 Asiatic lions besides leopards, ungulates, spotted deer, Sambar, Nilgai, Chinkara, antelopes, wild boar and thousands of bird species and various reptiles.


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