Entry of vehicles on the roads passing through the Gir National Park, the last abode of Asiatic lions, has been banned at night, a move which will help protect the wildlife in the region.
The move by the Gujarat forest department will give a much needed relief to the wildlife in the Gir as about 10 important roads pass through the sanctuary. This step will decrease the risk of animals coming under the wheels of vehicles and also save them from noise pollution.
"The forest department has taken this step to ensure safety of lions and other animals in the wildlife sanctuary. Earlier, some cases of injury to animals were recorded due to accidents caused by vehicular traffic in the Gir forest area," Principal secretary, Forest and Environment Department S K Nanda said.
"This is the season of arrivals of new lion cubs and at this time it is very important that they get peace at least in nights," Nanda said.
"Only in case of emergencies, we will allow vehicular traffic from the protected forest areas at nights," Nanda further said.
As per the last survey conducted by the state forest department in 2010, Gir has a population of 411 Asiatic lions besides other lions.
The protected area under the sanctuary is about 900 square kms but lions are also usually found straying in the peripheral villages of Gir.