A beat guard at Gujarat’s Gir Forest was going home at night when he encountered a lion sitting in the middle of the road, blocking his path. Guard Mahesh Sondarva filmed a video of the big cat which he later shared with Indian Forest Service officer Dr Anshuman. The video was posted on Twitter by Dr Anshuman, who serves as the deputy conservator of forest (DCF) in Gir East. It has created a big buzz online, thanks to the fact that the lion moves away from the road after ‘listening’ to the pleas of Mr Sondarva.
The 32-second video was filmed in a pitch black area of the forest, with only the headlight of Mr Sondarva’s bike illuminating the road and revealing the lion calmly sitting on it. In the video, the forest guard can be heard ‘pleading’ with the lion in Gujarati to let him go home. After his pleas fall on deaf ears, Mr Sondarva makes a sound which actually seems to have an effect upon the lion – it was filmed getting up and quietly moving towards the forest, allowing the guard to go on his way.
Dr Anshuman regularly shares photos and videos of Gir’s incredible wildlife on social media. According to an Ahmedabad Mirror report, the IFS officer is encouraging field staff to capture the wildlife and the flora and fauna of Gir. He posts the best videos and photos on social media with due credit.
While posting this video, Dr Anshuman called it a moment which makes Gir “an enigma wrapped in mystery”.
“My lion hearted staff pleads (in Gujarati) that I am there full day in your service so now please let me go and the King gracefully agrees,” the IFS officer wrote.
“I think it is moments like this which makes Gir an enigma wrapped in mystery.. I believe staff and lion chemistry can be explained by borrowing a line from a Hindi song ‘Ek ehsaas hai isse rooh se mehsus karo‘.”
My lion hearted staff pleads (in Gujarati) that I am there full day in your service so now please let me go and the King gracefully agrees. #wildlifeweek2020@DCFGirEastDhari@ParveenKaswan@CCF_Wildlife@Alok_brahmbhatt@susantananda3@aditiraval ????: Guard Mahesh Sondarva pic.twitter.com/4xVqyduUuQ
— Dr. Anshuman (@forestwala) October 5, 2020
The video has garnered nearly 5,000 views and hundreds of ‘likes’ on the microblogging platform.
The Gir Forest in Gujarat is the last abode of the Asiatic lion in the world. According to the BBC, once widespread in Gujarat, the lion population shrank to a mere dozen in the early 20th century.
Earlier this year, however, Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared some “very good news” about Gir, revealing that the population of Asiatic lions in the forest has increased, and so has their distribution area.
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