AHMEDABAD: Over the past week the forest department has found 17 dead nilgai from various parts of Amreli. On Thursday evening, officials recovered 10 dead nilgai from Visavadar area. These animals were poisoned with urea.

The nilgai, scientifically known as Boselaphus Tragocamelus, had been poisoned because they were damaging crops, officials said.

However, this new trend of poisoning the animal through drinking water has raised concern among the forest department officials over the safety of lions.

A senior officer said that the practice could be dangerous because the same water was consumed by lions. The official said that Amreli has 108 lions which is a huge number and all the big cats are spread in almost all parts of the district. He said that one has to take some measures or else soon post-mortem would reveal that the lions too were dying of poisoning.

The 17 nilgai which were found on Thursday appeared to be have died some four days.

Official said when there is no crops in the fields farmers do not poison these animals but as the monsoon season approaches, the farmers make an attempt to remove nilgai from the fields.

Earlier this week, seven nilgai were poisoned with fertilizers added to water. The official said that farmers get away by saying that the fertilizer was washed away from the field.