A woman gave birth to a baby boy in an ambulance surrounded by at least twelve lions. The incident took place in the western Indian state of Gujarat around midnight on Thursday, 29 June.

The ambulance shifting 32-year-old Manguben Makwana to a government hospital for delivery had to be stopped in the vicinity of the Gir forest, a wildlife sanctuary, when she developed intense labour pains, NDTV reported.

"When the ambulance was on its way to Jafarabad with Makwana, the on-duty Emergency Management Technician (EMT) Ashok Makwana [husband of the woman] realised that she would give birth anytime, as the head of the baby was protruding out," Chetan Gaadhe, emergency management executive of the ambulance said.

"Thus, he asked the driver Raju Jadav to stop the ambulance mid-way to deal with the emergency."

The pride of lions surrounded the ambulance and blocked its passage during the entire delivery process.

"The staff contacted our physician over phone and gave details of vitals. Based on this the physician gave nod for delivery. The delivery took about 25 minutes, and the entire time the lions were moving around the ambulance," Gaadhe said.

When the driver started the ambulance after the delivery, the big cats reportedly gave way and made their way into the forest. The mother and the baby have now been shifted to Jafrabad government hospital, the Times of India reported.

This is not the first time that ambulance staff in the region have had to deal with such a situation. Encountering lions is common in the interior villages of the region and staff are reportedly trained for such emergencies.

"In some situation our staff has to walk for kilometres as there is no road for the ambulance. The staff is well trained to tackle such situations," Gaadhe added.

New born baby
The 32-year-old delivered her baby boy in the vicinity of the Gir forest in an ambulance surrounded by 12 lions - Representational image REUTERS/Chance Chan