Ravindra Jadeja records statement in Lion selfie controversy at Gir Wildlife sanctuary

Ahmedabad: Cricketer Ravindra Jadeja on Friday recorded his official statement in the case where he allegedly flouted rules and took selfies with lions at Wildlife Sanctuary at Gir in Junagadh during his visit a month ago with his wife.

"After the matter came to our knowledge a month back, we summoned Jadeja to record his statement with us. He has recorded his statement now. We are in the process of preparing the final report, based on which action will be taken," said Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF), Junagadh, AP Singh.

He, however, did not elaborate on the contents of Jadeja's statement.

Ravinder Jadeja at the Gir National Park. Image courtesy: Ravindra Jadeja via Instagram

Ravinder Jadeja at the Gir National Park. Image courtesy: Ravindra Jadeja via Instagram

The Gujarat Forest Department had last month ordered an inquiry after some of the photos of Jadeja and his wife posing in front of lions went viral on social media platforms.

"This was a serious issue, as such acts are a clear violation of Wildlife Protection Act. We will take action based on the report, which will be prepared and submitted within next few days," Singh said.

Forest guards, who are deployed with tourists, could also be seen accompanying the couple who were on the ground near their safari vehicles in some photographs.

According to rules, tourists are not allowed to get down from their vehicles inside the sanctuary.

In one picture supposedly taken on 15 June, Jadeja and his wife could be seen sitting on the ground so that a lion resting under a tree behind them could be captured. Yet another picture shows Jadeja pointing at the lions.

The five-year lion census conducted last year put the total number of the carnivore in the state at 523, up from 411 lions in 2010.

Updated Date: Jul 16, 2016 11:16 AM

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