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2 Tourists, 4 Others Fined For Entering Gujarat’s Gir Forest Illegally

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They were fined Rs 25,000 each for the offence of trespassing


Two tourists and four other persons have been fined a total of Rs 1.75 lakh for allegedly trespassing into a reserved Gir forest area to watch the Asiatic lions in their natural habitat in Gujarat’s Amreli district, an official said on Sunday.

Of these six persons, three are locals and a hotelier who made arrangements for the tourists to watch lions after entering the restricted area of Sarasiya range forest without permission, Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF), Gir East, Rajdeepsinh Zala said.

The incident came to light around three weeks back, following which three locals were caught helping some tourists to enter the reserved forest area illegally, Zala said.

They were fined Rs 25,000 each for the offence of trespassing under provisions of the Indian Forest Act and the Wildlife (Protection) Act, the official said.

Following the investigation, three more persons were nabbed and fined a total of Rs 1 lakh for the offence, he said.

“These tourists entered the forest area with the help of locals to watch lions. We fined three persons around three weeks back, and further investigation led to three more persons who were part of the gang that entered the forest illegally,” the official said.

“When we questioned the locals caught three weeks back, they revealed a tourist and commercial angle to the incident. This led us to nab two tourists and a hotelier three days back and we fined them,” he said, adding that more people are likely to be involved in the offence.

According to the 2020 census, there were 674 lions in Gujarat, a 29 per cent increase in its population compared to the 2015 census.

The state has a total of 206 lions, 309 lionesses, 130 cubs and 29 unidentified big cats, as per the 2020 census. 

(This story has not been edited by String Reveals staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)