India lion attacks: Pride caged after Gujarat killings

Asiatic Lions lounge in the shade of a tree near the village of Sasan on the edge of Gir National Park on 10 December 2007 Image copyright AFP
Image caption There are more than 500 lions living in Gir sanctuary

Forestry officials in India have caught and caged 13 Asiatic lions in western India after at least three people were killed by them.

The pride of lions was rounded up after a teenager was dragged from his village, killed and partially eaten.

Two other people have also been killed in the last two months, though officials say such attacks are rare.

The Asiatic lions, classed as endangered, are amongst more than 500 who live in Gir forest in Gujarat.

Gujarat's chief conservator of forests, J A Khan, said the lions were captured from an eastern part of the sanctuary, their last remaining natural habitat.

"Lions that have preyed upon humans will be analysed in detail, while the rest will be slowly introduced back into the wild," Mr Khan told the AFP news agency.

He added they would find the lions responsible for the killings by analysing their faeces for human tissue.

On Friday, a 14-year-old boy was dragged away by lions as he was sleeping in a mango orchard outside his home.

His father was injured when he tried to stop the attack.

In April, the lions killed a 50-year-old woman as she was asleep in a field, and a month earlier a 60-year-old was killed in his hut in the same village as the boy.

The Asiatic lion was listed as endangered in 2008, an improvement on a critically endangered listing in 2000, after numbers increased in the forest.

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