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Artificial water supply for big cats in Gir forest

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Water supply to 51 artificial water 'points' in the Gir forest has begun from last week to help Asiatic lions and other animals quench their thirst in the scorching summer, a senior forest official said today.

There are 50-60 Asiatic lions in the east region of the forest.

The 51 artificial water points are located in the arid Tulsishyam, Tarasiya and Savarkundla regions in East division (Dhari) of the forest where there is no availability of natural water. Therefore, the supply is being done by tankers, Deputy Conservator, Gir forest (East Division, Dhari) Anshuman Sharma said here today.

There are a total of 180 artificial water points in the 728 sq km eastern Dhari division of the Gir forest.

There is no need to supply water daily to the artificial water points located in the vicinity of Machhundri and Raval rivers, separating east division from west division in Dhari range, he said.

"As there is good flow of water in the rivers passing through the Dhari range during this season, the lions prefer to quench their thirst with river water," he said.

"However, we ensure that all the artificial water points, whether they are located in remote forest areas or near the rivers, are filled with water," Sharma said.

Water pumping wind mills have also been set up in the remote areas to help keep the artificial water points filled during peak summers, he added.

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