A six-year-old Asiatic lioness was mowed down by a train near the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat's Junagadh district, a forest official said on Wednesday.
The region has seen several such incidents and this year till June, half a dozen big cats have been killed, prompting authorities to urge the Railways to ensure trains runs slower while passing through the area.
The latest incident took place on Tuesday evening when the feline was run over by Veraval-Delvada passenger train at Jamvala village of Una taluka in the district, he said.
"On seeing the lioness on the track, the train driver applied brakes, but could not save her as she was near the loop of the railway track," K Ramesh, deputy conservator of forest, western Gir Lion National Sanctuary area, told PTI.
The forest team patrolling in the area was rushed to the spot, he said, adding that they have recorded the statement of the driver, co-driver and guard of the train in connection with the accident.
There were two lionesses roaming on the railway track. While one of them managed to jump away, another got trapped near a loop on the track, he said.
During interrogation, the train driver said he could not see lioness due to thick vegetation on side of the railway track, Ramesh said.
The accident site is a revenue area located about one km away from the Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, housing 411 Asiatic lions, as per a 2010 census, he said.
"We will be talking to concerned railway authorities to discuss ways to reduce the speed limit of trains on this stretch," he added.