Gir Lion Cub Burned
AHMEDABAD: Heads are likely to roll in the forest department in what was so far being dismissed as an innocuous episode in Gir forest. Last week a van sahayak burnt the carcass of a dead animal believing it to be wild cat, on orders from the range forest office. It now turns out that this dead animal was probably a lion cub. Evidence to support this possibility has emerged in the preliminary investigations.
A range forest officer J B Vadi, who issued directions to burn the body of the animal, is facing suspension. Office of the chief conservator of forest (wildlife) R L Meena, has sent a proposal to the head quarters for suspending Vadi.
“He is facing suspension not for burning the animal, but for dereliction of duty,” said a senior officer. TheRFO before asking his staff to burn the animal should have gone to the spot to examine the carcass and then should have given orders to dispose it. But in this case Vadi did not go the spot, in fact, he gave verbal instructions to his juniors to dispose of the carcass. Even after burning it the RFO should have informed the deputy conservator of forest, but he chose to keep it a guarded secret.
Officials said that earlier last week, there were rumours that a lion cub was burnt by the staff after they found it dead. The skin was missing and looking at the situation it appeared as if the death could have taken long back and would have gone unnoticed, said a forest officer.
Once this carcass was found, the Van Sahayak who was newly recruited informed the range officials who asked them to dispose it off. The staff did as per the direction of the higher up. Officials said during inquiry the lower staff informed the officials that they were asked to dispose off the body by the RFO.
Inquiry also reveal that the RFO has sent his vehicle and driverto the spot for the record, but he himself had not gone to visit the spot.