On Saturday night, traffic came to a standstill on the Pipavav-Rajula highway in Gujarat, as motorists chanced upon the spectacle of a lifetime: a pride of lions trying to negotiate traffic and cross the highway.
The video was shot by a driver in Gujarat's Amreli.
While jaw dropping, it is equally heartbreaking to see the lions waiting at the divider for the traffic to slow down. As the lions wait, one man with a camera phone gets dangerously close. When the traffic slows down eventually, one lion guides the others across the highway. One lion refuses to cross and goes back.
The scene is a grim reminder of the shrinking space which force animals to encroach on human settlements and vice versa in a worsening man-animal conflict. According to media reports, there have been other instances of lions straying onto the roads close to the Gir forest. Some lions have died on the road.
In 2016, a two-and-a half year-old Asiatic lion was mowed down by a vehicle near Pipavav port in Amreli district, with the motorist speeding away.
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