Gujarat starts vaccinating Gir lions against canine distemper virus

Intensive veterinary care is being provided

Updated - October 07, 2018 10:53 pm IST

Published - October 07, 2018 10:17 pm IST - Ahmedabad

In this Sunday, June 9, 2013 photograph, endangered Asiatic lions rest at the Gir Lion Sanctuary at Sasan in Junagadh district of Gujarat state, India. The Asiatic lion has been almost wiped out in India, but intense conservation efforts by Gujarat over the last 50 years have brought them back from the brink of extinction. There are now 400 Asiatic lions in Gujarat's Gir forests. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

In this Sunday, June 9, 2013 photograph, endangered Asiatic lions rest at the Gir Lion Sanctuary at Sasan in Junagadh district of Gujarat state, India. The Asiatic lion has been almost wiped out in India, but intense conservation efforts by Gujarat over the last 50 years have brought them back from the brink of extinction. There are now 400 Asiatic lions in Gujarat's Gir forests. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

The Gujarat Forest Department on Sunday started the vaccination of lions in the Gir Forest National Park to protect them from a deadly virus. As many as 23 lions have died in the Gir sanctuary in less than a month. Most of them have succumbed to canine distemper virus (CDV) and protozoa infections, forest officials have said.

Asiatic lions, an endangered species, are being vaccinated under intensive veterinary care, as per standard protocol, officials said on Sunday. CDV is considered a dangerous virus and has been blamed for wiping out 30% of the population of African lions in East African forests.

“Top national & International lion experts have been consulted. Government undertaking utmost care for lion safety,” the Chief Conservator of Forest, Junagadha Forest Department, said on Twitter.

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