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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17480856/

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NEW DELHI - Poachers killed three highly endangered Asiatic lions in their only remaining sanctuary in western India, removing their claws and bones and raising fears for the future of these rare cats, wildlife officials said Tuesday.

Rangers at the Gir National Park in the state of Gujarat found the mutilated bodies of two lionesses and a cub on Saturday deep within the park, said Bharat Pathak, the park's conservation officer.

Only some 350 of the Asiatic lions that once roamed across much of Asia from Turkey to India still exist, all of them in the Gir park. The killings sparked renewed calls from conservationists to set up an alternate sanctuary.
 
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