In an ongoing conflict between human infrastructure and wildlife corridors, a train in the Shetrunji Wildlife Division struck a lioness late Sunday evening. Fortunately, unlike three previous incidents in the region, this time, the majestic animal escaped with injuries and is currently undergoing treatment at Junagadh Hospital.
The express collided with the lioness
The incident occurred around 7:30 PM near Ringaliyana Mota and Doliya Villages, approximately 17km east of Rajula town. According to forest officials, the four-to-five-year-old lioness emerged from a breach in the fencing near the railway tracks and directly onto the path of the approaching Surat-Mahua Express. Despite the loco pilot's immediate attempt to brake, the train collided with the animal.
This was the third collision in one month
This incident marks the third collision between trains and wild animals in Amreli district within a month. Tragically, all previous encounters resulted in the deaths of the animals involved. On January 12, a four-year-old lion was killed by a speeding goods train near Amrutvel village in Savarkundla, Gujarat. These recurring accidents raise concerns about the vulnerability of wildlife and the need for better mitigation measures to prevent such collisions.
The lioness is presently under observation and medical care
Following the accident, forest officials rushed to the scene and, with the help of veterinary doctors, transported the injured lioness to Junagadh Hospital for medical attention. The animal is currently under observation and receiving necessary treatment for her injuries. "The lioness is lucky to be alive," a wildlife official said. The collision could have been much worse. We are cautiously optimistic about her recovery."
The incident has sparked renewed discussions about the need for improved fencing and wildlife corridors along railway tracks in the region. Experts have highlighted the importance of studying animal movement patterns and strategically placing underpasses or overpasses to facilitate safe passage for wildlife.