Gir Rescue Team
Month Year: December 2005
Wildlife Service Award
The Rescue Team of the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park works around the clock. The team comprises 20 frontline defenders of wildlife whose job it is to keep wandering lions, leopards and crocodiles away from humans. In a world where we ourselves are becoming increasingly intolerant of each other, it takes little imagination to realise that human intolerance towards animals is on the rise.
Our traditional regard for all things natural is eroding. Poisoning, trapping, shooting and beating is the order of the day for creatures that make the mistake of entering the human domain. When lions and leopards leave Gir, they are rescued and brought back to their protected confines by this team of Earth Heroes. This team of foot soldiers working in the Gir East, Gir West and Sasan Wildlife Division of the Gujarat Forest Department, act as one entity in defence of lions. Between them, they have rescued over 550 leopards and lions that range across 2,000 sq. km. of land. In the process, they have saved innumerable human lives.
Without them, all our wildlife laws, policies and collective resolve to protect the last remaining Asiatic lions would be like straws in the wind. They help to reduce human-wildlife conflict at grave individual risk to their lives.
First published in: Sanctuary Asia, Vol XXV No. 6, December 2005.