The Gujarat Forest department has recorded the statement of cricketer Ravindra Jadeja, who allegedly flouted rules and took selfies with lions at Wildlife Sanctuary at Gir in Junagadh during his visit a month ago, officials said on Friday.
“After the matter came to our knowledge a month back, we summoned Jadeja to record his statement with us. He recently gave his statement. We are in the process of preparing the final report, based on which action will be taken,” said Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF), Junagadh, A P Singh.
Last month, Gujarat Forest department had ordered an inquiry after some of the photos– where Jadeja along with his wife Reeva can be seen posing in-front of lions– went viral on social media platforms.
In some of the photos, some forest guards, who are deployed with tourists, can also be seen standing with Jadeja near safari jeeps inside the sanctuary.
As per rules, tourists are not allowed to alight from their safari jeeps inside the sanctuary.
In one of the photos, believed to be clicked on June 15, Jadeja and Reeva can be seen sitting on the ground so that a lion resting under a tree behind them can be captured. In another photo, Jadeja can be seen pointing at some lions.
“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,” added Singh.
The census put the total number of big cat in the state at 523, which is a jump from 411 lions counted in 2010.