Allegations flew that he had once again violated the Wildlife Protection Act which prohibits clicking pictures with Schedule-I animals. However, forest department officials were quick to point out that the cub was African, not Asiatic lion.
Woah ! Best experience ever #sasangir #roadtrip https://t.co/nCLwjEv1N1
— Ravindrasinh jadeja (@imjadeja) 1612773732000
The controversial picture resurfaced after the all-rounder posted a video of three lions walking along a road in the night. Jadeja uploaded the video to his official Twitter handle, captioning it: “Woah! Best experience ever #sasangir #roadtrip.”
While the video showed the majestic big cats up close on their night stroll, the spotlight soon shifted to the contentious picture. The picture, once again, sent the state forest officials into a tizzy, driving them to promptly clarify that the cub was not from Gujarat.
Chief Conservator of Forest Junagadh (wildlife) D T Vasavada said “I have examined the photographs of Ravindrasinh Jadeja with the cub. We are sure that it is not from Gujarat. The photograph was taken with African lions.”
Top sources in the forest department said that the picture is an old one, dating back to 2018. “This picture was dug out and shared after Jadeja posted a night video of lions,” said a senior official.
Jadeja, who had gone to South Africa as part of the India Test squad in 2018, had posted the photograph on his Twitter account after taking time out to visit a wildlife sanctuary there.
Interestingly, the cricketer had courted major controversy in 2016 for getting pictures clicked with lions at Gir Wildlife Sanctuary at Sasan in Junagadh, an act strictly prohibited by the law. He was let off by the Gujarat forest department only after he paid a fine of Rs 20,000.
In one of the pictures which posted by Jadeja on social media, Jadeja and his wife Rivaba were seen sitting on the ground with a lion resting under a tree behind them. In another photo, the cricketer was seen pointing at lions.