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In an ironical situation, the population of lions in Gujarat’s Gir National Park has steadily increased in recent years but there has also been an alarming rise in their death toll.

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In fact, 42 lions, 43 lionesses and 54 cubs have died in the last three years, according to Environment and Forest Minister Mangubhai Patel.

Patel made the revelation in the state assembly, while giving a written reply to a question raised by Congress legislator Bavkubhai Undhad.

Patel specified that 42 lions died in 2009, 48 in 2010 and 49 in 2011, adding that they were all accidental deaths. Patel did not clarify how many lions or lionesses have died of natural causes in these three years.

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