Two lions allegedly attacked and killed a 17-year-old girl outside her cottage on an agricultural field in Dhanfuliya village of Vanthali taluka of Junagadh district when she stepped out on Monday night.
As per officers of the Gir Somnath social forestry division, the two male lions charged at Bhavna Bamaniya (17) and her cousin sister Rekha when they stepped out of their cottage on Harsukh Chavda’s agricultural field in Dhanfuliya village at around 9.30 pm on Monday.
Dhanfuliya is 12 km east of Vanthali town and less than 20 km from the border of Girnar Wildlife Sanctuary, the nearest protected forest area, which is a habitat of lions. The village is located on the bank of Ozat river and lions outside protected areas prefer riverine patches for shelter.
Police said that the Rekha raised an alarm as soon as the lions attacked them.
According to police, the victim was a native of Methan village in Singvad taluka of Dahod district in eastern Gujarat. Her parents were in their native village while Bhavna came to Dhanfuliya with her maternal uncle’s family to work as agricultural labourer. Her body has been kept at the government hospital in Junagadh city and her parents have been informed.
The Deputy Conservator of Forests said that the forest department was trying to rescue the lions after their unusual behaviour. According to forest officials, unless provoked, Asiatic lions rarely attack humans as the carnivores do not see humans as their prey. Human deaths on account of attacks by lions in and around Gir forest and other protected areas spread across Junagadh.