Lion population in Gir Sanctuary is expected to increase in the ongoing lion census being conducted by Gujarat State Forest Department.
Nearly 1,600 officials have involved in the process since April 24 in Gir Sanctuary which has been divided into various categories for perfect headcount, official sources said.
The preliminary round of lion census has got over and the Department is expecting that the number would be higher than the last census in 2004-05.
Officials are busy in the final round of the headcount which will be concluded in the next two days, sources said.
In the 2004-05 lions census in Gir, the number was recorded at 359.
The census had revealed that some lions were killed by poachers, while some died naturally. Infighting and succumbing after falling down in open wells were also attributed to decline in lion population.
The Forest Department is now expecting to have more than 400 lions in this census, sources said.
The lion population in Gir would be disclosed by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on May 1, sources added.