The Asiatic lion is an endangered lion subspecies that inhabits Gujarat (The Land of the Legends), a state in India. There are currently less than 500 Asiatic lions in existence. Only 13 Asiatic lions were in existence in 1907, when an Indian prince banned hunting the lions.
In 1965, the Gujarat’s Gir National Park and Gir National Sanctuary began protecting the lion to prevent its extinction. Today, the Pania Sanctuary, Girnar Sanctuary and Mitiyala Sanctuary also provide a safe haven for the lion.
According to an article in Scientific American, the Asiatic lions have so far been saved from extinction, but are now outgrowing their safe environment and facing new survival issues.
“…the lions themselves are killed or injured when they come into contact with crude, deadly electric fences built around farms or fall in any of the tens of thousands of roughly hewn open wells in the region.”
The Wildlife Conservation Trust of India’s Asiatic lion website has detailed information on the lion, including statistics, habitat and conservation data. The group is also involved in the Sakkarbaug Zoo Asiatic lion breeding program.
Map of Gujarat in India
Asiatic Lion Photo Credit: Gangasudhan at en.wikipedia