Where the wild things are: A day in the life of Sagar Manjariya, a wildlife tracker in Gir forest Related News Post Comment(s) By Express News Service |Gandhinagar | Updated: July 16, 2019 8:59:53 pm Lion deaths: Ahmed Patel writes to PM Modi, suggests measures to tackle situation Advertising Lion found dead in Gir, samples sent for tests CCTV cameras have also been set up at checkpoints inside the forest and “friends of forests” have been appointed from villages bordering the forest, the government said. (Gujarat Forest Department)During the last two years, a total of 74 persons have been caught for having a role in organising “illegal lion shows” in Gir forest, the Gujarat legislative assembly was informed during the Question Hour on Tuesday. In a written reply provided by the state government to a question posed by Congress MLA from Savarkundla Pratap Dudhat, the state government informed that legal action has been initiated against all those caught under The Wildlife Protection Act 1972.However, no official or employee of the state forest department was among those caught, the reply stated.In order to stop any illegal activity in Gir, the state government said walkie-talkies, vehicles and weapons have been provided to the field staff who conduct regular patrolling within the forest and the borders of the forest, stated the government in response to supplementary questions asked by the Congress MLA. Advertising CCTV cameras have also been set up at checkpoints inside the forest and “friends of forests” have been appointed from villages bordering the forest, the government added.The Indian Express had reported in May 2019 how six persons were caught red-handed by the staff of the Junagadh forest division of Gir sanctuary for organising a lion show in Veraval taluka of Gir Somnath district. Of the population of 523 Asiatic lions in Gujarat, an estimated 167, or 32 per cent, live outside protected forest areas.This has caused a rapid rise in conflict with humans. Over 50 humans have been killed and 436 injured in attacks by either lions or leopards in Gir-Somnath, Junagadh and Amreli, between December 2013 to November 2018.