Cycling through Gir forest, safe?

#1 Mar 16th, 2017, 02:12
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#1
We are two friends planning for a cycle trip and we shall be passing through Gir forest from Dhari to Una via Tulsishyam route. Is it safe enough to do so?
#2 Mar 16th, 2017, 04:21
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Originally Posted by dipz74 View Post We are two friends planning for a cycle trip and we shall be passing through Gir forest from Dhari to Una via Tulsishyam route. Is it safe enough to do so?
I shall be interested to see how knowledgeable members respond. Seems to me that (even on a bicycle) you are small and slow and tasty and the Gir lions (even though they really are just African lions escaped from maharaja's zoos) the Gir lions, I say, are big and fast and hungry.
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#3 Mar 16th, 2017, 09:21
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It appears Lions are friends with people .. . Don't pet them

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#4 Mar 16th, 2017, 11:06
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I understand lions usually do not attack until they are teased. I am concerned about leopards, can non trust them. However, we shall be riding cycles in daylight time, and so thought that there shouldn't be any risk, but would like to have opinions from experts, and people who have knowledge of this area/route.

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#5 Mar 16th, 2017, 11:17
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Generally speaking , how many times have we come across of an incident where a lion/leopard has attacked someone on cycle ? A far more common occurrence is facing an elephant in the terrai / South Indian jungles. Even there the incidents of the humans actually harmed are few. The key is in knowing about what one is doing. If one is traveling in daylight, keeps safe distance if any wild animal is sighted, waits long enough to let it pass, doesn't make loud sounds and sudden movements then I don't think any chance of getting hurt is imminent. Follow the basic rules of jungle and you will be safe, just let them have the right of way.
#6 Mar 16th, 2017, 12:25
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Isn't Gir a protected forest or reserved forest or something like that? Like the Tiger Reserves? How would one enter on cycle or foot? Just curious, I assumed most of our forests, especially big cat reserves had controlled entry. I know poachers and villagers do enter and it would be impractical to police an entire forest, but still, I assume there will be check posts and patrols.
#7 Mar 16th, 2017, 12:45
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Make sure that you start your cycling trip so that when you are passing through the Gir forest then it is not dark..cross the forest before evening..because there may be some danger..so i think you should not take any risk..
#8 Mar 16th, 2017, 14:54
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#8
Thank you friends for your views. Well, Gir is protected forest, but I am not sure the route I planned is come under its boundaries or not. The path is a motorable road, and there are check posts at both ends. I am not sure, whether cycles are allowed or not. Obviously, we shall start early in morning, the route which passes through forest is some 35-40 km stretch, and we expect to pass it in max four hours, including stop at Tulsishyam temple enroute.
#9 Mar 16th, 2017, 20:58
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Originally Posted by dipz74 View Post Thank you friends for your views. Well, Gir is protected forest, but I am not sure the route I planned is come under its boundaries or not. The path is a motorable road, and there are check posts at both ends. I am not sure, whether cycles are allowed or not. Obviously, we shall start early in morning, the route which passes through forest is some 35-40 km stretch, and we expect to pass it in max four hours, including stop at Tulsishyam temple enroute.
Is there any way you can contact the park directly to find out whether you'll be allowed to cycle? When we visited there we scads of safari Jeeps tearing around looking for animals. I suspect they'd be more of a threat than hungry lions. And I suspect they'd not want to share the road, so will have established rules forbidding cycles. But private automobiles are permitted, i think.
#10 Mar 16th, 2017, 22:27
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I think that the armchair lion psychologists here are not exactly speaking from experience. This idea (myth) that lion will only attack if bothered, in fact teased, is not exactly based on any facts... The density of lions is likely very low - and the intrepid or stupid bicyclists tempting them out of their slumber is even lower. So, the statistics that there aren't many such attacks aren't exactly reliable...

I don't claim any true knowledge of lion behavior either but having spent some time at watering holes in some national parks in SA hoping for the lions to appear - I can tell that every animal there had a slightly different read on the lion's aggression. Apart from elephants and herds of zebra, every single animal circled around the the watering hole for about half hour to make sure there were no lions around...

Most carnivorous animals in the wild have a chase instinct. I know that bicyclists are asked to be extra cautious (discouraged if they can read between the lines) in the grizzly bear territory precisely because bicyclists trigger the chase instincts leading to a higher probability of an attack.

So, it is more a question of - do you feel lucky?
#11 Mar 17th, 2017, 00:57
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#11
I traveled through the same road a couple of months back, on a car, along with about a score of other cars, few dozens of two wheelers of various shapes and sizes and countless pedestrians , many of them savouring fafda-jalebi bought from t heroadside shacks on the very road. Twice in fact in two days, returned unchased and unscathed.
Hence no waiting beside the watering holes there, specially Gujarat being a dry state they prefer you to wait beside some electric pole, where they deliver the bottles, just pedal and make merry. They also close the road between sunset and sunrise.
#12 Mar 17th, 2017, 02:22
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#12
OK. I stand corrected.

I do not know the road in question - and answered it in the context of a national park and wildlife sanctuary with 523 lions. If it is a major thoroughfare with significant traffic, it is probably fine. There is, however, a major difference between a car or even a motorcycle versus bicycle.

And, your mileage may vary. Not directly comparable, in a lion park in SA (hosting white lions and a bunch of other animals), people drive around safely all the time. I have driven around it and don't remember if I had the windows open or not. Couple of years ago, someone had a passenger window open - and the lion came and got the passenger. http://ewn.co.za/2015/06/01/Lion-mau...-Jhb-lion-park

May be the Indian lions are a bit more peace loving...

PS: By the way, is this the same road the OP is looking to bicycle through..क्या हुवा जब शेर के जुंड ने रास्ता रोक लिया

#13 Mar 17th, 2017, 04:43
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#13
I guess Indian lions are veg. But I wouldn't have been at ease on that motorcycle...no way.

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#14 Mar 17th, 2017, 08:23
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#14
@Kmalik, it is difficult to tell whether it is the same road that the OP is referring to. In fact there are several other smaller roads connecting to various villages that pass through the park, but the main road is wider than the one shown in the video. There is also a train line which connects Junagarh that goes through the park as well. As much as I have seen the main road witnesses constant flow of traffic of all kinds including cycles and none seemed too bothered about an encounter with the cats , may be familiarity or rarity. But it is always better to know the dos and don'ts IMO, you never know what awaits at the next curve.
#15 Mar 17th, 2017, 12:03
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#15
Wow, so looks like you can motor through Gir on your own and come across lions on the road! Very odd, I would think the Forest Department would be rather strict about this sort of thing, considering this is the only surviving population of lions in the entire country.

I wouldn't take such chances, but I guess familiarity breeds contempt. I remember reading about some small bridge somewhere in Australia (Cahill's Crossing, Kakadu NP?) that gets submerged in the rain and despite there being a significant population of saltwater crocodiles in the vicinity, a few locals try to cross every season and, well...

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