A video from Gujarat's Gir Sanctuary has gone viral where a lion can be seen hunting a live cow that has been tied to a spot as bait.
What is more shocking is that there are several young men seen in the video who stand within a few meters distance from the incident and capture the entire hunt on their smartphones. The nature of these men enjoying the show has led many to believe that the cow was tied for the purpose of a show.
According to a report by Times of India, the footage is from somewhere between Kodinar and Una in Gujarat. The video begins with the cow being tied with a rope as a lion suddenly comes from behind vegetation and pounces on the animal. The person taking the video keeps shifting to shoot the lion preying on the cow over the heads of many men all of whom are trying to record the kill. Many motorbikes are also seen on the spot and it is most likely that the men have travelled to especially watch the show.
Disheartening to see people illegally taking videos of Lion hunting in #Gir to get cheap publicity on social media. This is totally against the spirit of #Lion conservation. I hope the guilty are apprehended & punished.@GujForestDept @Ganpatsinhv @moefcc pic.twitter.com/GREFzjGwNw
— Parimal Nathwani (@mpparimal) October 15, 2020
The report states that the forest department has initiated an inquiry into the incident. A senior officer who has seen the viral clip spoke with the portal. They said that the video was from an illegal show that was organized in return for a handsome sum of money. As the men in the video seemed to be ready to shoot it is also understandable that such shows are not a rarity and everyone present on the spot knew what was about to happen. There is also a chance that the lion was not fed for the past couple of days.
The officer said, “The way the group was ready with their cameras makes it seem this was a routine affair for the group. They might not be feeding the lion for a couple of days and then organizing the illegal show by charging high rates.”