India's Only Lion
History of the Asiatic Lion
The Asiatic Lion used to be spread out in the Asia Minor, Arabia, Persia, and India. But since it suffered from severe famines it was forced to attack Humans and Domestic Cattle which made hunters angrier. From 1904 to 1911 their numbers grew because the Nawab of Jungadh gave them protection. But in 1911 he died of old age and Great Britain began to allow more aggressive attacks for protection and sport. In 1913 their were only 20 lions left in the wild. Finally, in 1936 a census was taken of Asiatic Lions left and they were surprised that their numbers were back up to 287. Then in 1965 the Wildlife Conservation Program became in act by the Forest Department for them to live peacefully and happily in the Gir. The Gir is a National Forest in Gujarat, India. Then in 2010 Hon. C M Shri Narendra Modi the Prime Minister of Gujarat announced that there were 411 Lions in the Gir Forest. 97 were males, 162 were females, and 152 were cubs.
Asiatic Lion collage with a mother and her three cubs.
About the Asiatic Lion
The Asiatic Lion is about 5 feet tall about 400 pounds and has a lifespan of about 17 years.The Asiatic Lion's diet consists of Deer, Wild Boar, Antelope, and Water Buffalo. The Asiatic Lion is basically a normal looking lion. The Male has the mane around his head while the females don't. the only difference between the African Lion and the Asiatic Lion is that the Asiatic Lion is little smaller than it's distant cousin. It also has a shorter thinner mane and a fold of skin running down the underside that is unusual with African Lions. The rest of the coat is a short and tawny color for both male and female but paler on its belly. It's tail and back of ears are a dark brown or black color. When the cubs are still young they have light brown spots like a Cheetah but they eventually fade away, although some times the lion keeps the spots but they are much more faded. In their prides the female lions are the main hunters for the pride while the male is the leader and watches the prides territory.
Did You Know...
Did you know that the Asiatic Lion was down to around a dozen at one point in 1904?
Large male Asiatic Lion resting under the shade of a tree for protection from the Indian afternoon heat.
The Asiatic Lion is referred to in Ancient Greece many times because they were used in the Colosseum in events like the criminals who would get fed to the lions. Back in the 1900's and the Asiatic Lions were wanted animals people would kill them for sport or right on sight. They also were killed because of their pelts and they had what people back then called "good meat". The pelt was the main thing they wanted though because taking one down took some courage and determination and they pelts kept you very warm. These animals were about to go extinct but both times they were save by a nice people who didn't want to see another animal go extinct. The second group of people even made a law to allow them to live peacefully in the Gir Forest.
Did You Know...
Did you know that the the Asiatic Lion ages seven years for every one Human year.
Asiatic Lion "Asiatic Lion History"http://www.asiaticlion.org/asiatic-lion-history.htm
Gir National Park "Introduction"
Arkive "Lion Fact Files"