A senior bureaucrat said with more lions moving out of Gir Sanctuary and making other areas their home, mananimal conflicts are growing. He said though not many human casualties have been reported, number of animal killings has gone up by nearly 400 in a year. Officers said the lion population has increased because of proper conservation measures. They said apart from conservation steps taken by the forest department, people are also sensitive to the cause of lions conservation. "Villagers would often sacrifice their cattle for lion," said government officials.
Forest department is in the process of developing new sanctuaries which includes the Barda Dungar in Porbandar. The department declared Pania, Mitiyala and Gir as sanctuaries. The total area of these three sanctuaries put together is around 235 sq km and another 190 sq km, which is the area of Barda, is ready for shifting of lions. Officials said the carrying capacity of Gir Sanctuary was just 280 lions and hence, 70 lions have moved to Palitana, in Bhavnagar and to Porbandar.