Gujarat government declared, ‘harassing Asiatic lions will now attract serious penal action under Section 9 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.’
Gujarat government faced criticism recently after a series of videos showing people pestering lions went viral. In one video, a lioness is shown being made to beg for chicken, which is dangled in front of it during an illegal show. Earlier, videos of youths chasing lions on speeding bikes and cars had gone viral.
According to declaration, ‘ Harassment covers a wide range of actions: organizing illegal lion shows, chasing lions in vehicles, and shooting illegal videos.’
The government warned that those caught disturbing the lions can be imprisoned for up to seven years. The government also announced the formation of a single authority to manage the 22,000 sq km spread of lion habitat, which is currently under the control of four different authorities.