72 lions died in Gujarat's Gir Forest in the last two years and there are around 291 lions left there, the state assembly was told on Tuesday.
In a reply to a query by Chandubhai Dabhi (Congress), the government said 71 lions died due to natural causes while one was killed in poaching in the only abode of Asiatic lions, in the last two years.
According to the government, there are currently 68 lions, 100 lionesses and 123 cubs in the entire Gir area spread over three districts of Junagadh, Amreli and Bhavnagar.
Giving details of the measures initiated by the authorities to protect the endangered wild animal, the Forest Department said security staff has been increased and they have been provided with latest communication equipment.
The department has stepped up patrolling in the dense forest and traffic within the protected areas has been regulated.
A total of 13,554 open wells had been covered following incidents of lions falling in these water bodies, the government said.