Indian cricketer Ravindra Jadeja faces inquiry over lion selfies

Cricketer Ravindra Jadeja poses with a pride of Asiatic lions at the Gujarat state's Gir wildlife sanctuary in western India. Image copyright Ravindra Jadeja/Instagram

Wildlife officials in India have ordered an inquiry after international cricketer Ravindra Jadeja posted photos online of him and his wife posing in front of endangered Asiatic lions.

The images appeared to show the pair on foot during a safari at the Gir National Park and Sanctuary in Gujarat.

Officials there said it was against the rules for visitors to leave their vehicles and they may impose a penalty.

Jadeja, 27, was part of India’s team for the recent World T20 tournament.

A photo posted on Jadeja’s Instagram account showed the cricketer pointing to a pride of lions behind him, with the caption, “Family photo, having good time in Sasan (Gir) #rajputboy #wearelions”.

A second photo posted to the cricketer’s account showed him and his wife, Reeva, with a lion looking on in the background.

Image copyright Ravindra Jadeja/Instagram

The national park at Gir is the only place where Asiatic lions remain in the wild. The animals, which are slightly smaller than African lions, were listed as endangered in 2008.

“Since it is against the rule to get down [from] the vehicle in jungle, we have ordered a probe into the matter,” AP Singh, a chief forest conservator, told AFP news agency.

The photos were posted days after Gujarat forestry officials warned of the dangers involved in taking selfies with lions.

Mr Singh said the inquiry into Jadeja would consider what penalty to impose on the couple.

Image copyright Ravindra Jadeja /Twitter

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