Impudent man uses a live chicken to tease lioness

A man is being sought by police after a video was posted on social media of him using a live chicken to tease a huge lioness.

The clip shows him laughing while waving the bird in front of the big cat, which repeatedly snaps at it, moving backwards and forwards.

The cruel prankster eventually throws the chicken to the lion - and it snaps it into its jaws before running back to the jungle.

It is understood the video was shot near the Gir forest range in Gujarat in India, one of the only places in the world that Asiatic lions are found, and is now being investigated by the police and the government forest department.

However, as reported on the DNA India website, DT Vasavada, Chief Conservator of Forest, Wildlife Circle, Junagadh said that this is an old video. "The man shown in the video is Haliyar Hoth of Jhalkha village. He is in jail after an earlier video emerged of him teasing lions in a similar way." He went on to say that the man was arrested and sent to jail in May 2018.

Another similar video of people luring a lioness with a live chicken had appeared on social media after which seven people had been arrested.

India Today reported that at least 23 lions died in Gir last month in an unusual series of deaths that forced the Gujarat Forest Department to undertake a massive survey in order to identify and treat sick lions.

The Gujarat High Court had questioned if illegal lion shows, during which the big cats are fed chicken, could to be to blame for the animals falling prey to viral infections.