Asiatic Lions are referred as 'Lord of Beasts' in India. They are regarded as symbol of power and bravery. During the ancient period in India, fight with a lion was considered to be the test of leadership. Indian lion is one of the seven sub-specie of lions on this earth. “Panthera Leo Persica” is the scientific name of this majestic beast.
Habitat of Asiatic Lion
Gir in Gujarat is the last dwelling place of Asiatic Lion. This wild beast is only breeding in the dense forest of the park. Gujarat Government has declared an area of 1421.1 sq km of Gir as Protected Area, which comprises of 258.7 sq km as National Park and 1153.4 sq km as Wildlife Sanctuary.
Physical Features of Asiatic Lion
The magnificent Asiatic Lion inhabiting in Indian Jungles are very ferocious. They grows upto a height of about 90 cm. Length of Indian Lion ranges from 200 to 280 cm and tail grows to a length of 60-90 cm. They weighs between 200 to 275 kg.
Male lions have handsome manes, which are not found in lioness. The color of the manes vary from lion to lion. The Asiatic lion entire body is covered with feathery coat and longs tufts of hair on the elbow joints and at the end of the tail.
Diet Asiatic Lion
Asiatic lion is carnivores and prey on other animals inhabiting the jungle. The mainly kill Chital, Nilgai, Goats, Antelope, Deer, Sambhar, Wild Pig and Buffaloes for their meals.
Social Structure of Asiatic Lion
The Asiatic lion mating season is timed along with the onset of winter during the month October and November. The lioness breed after two years and are perfectly fit to have their first lot of babies at an age of 30-36 months.
The male lion are lazy in nature and possess lordship like behavior. Asiatic Lions enjoys the company of one another. Lioness do all the hunting work and once the prey is killed, males are first to go for meals. They are mostly found in large groups, consisting upto three adults in every group. One adult male is the dominating leader in each prides.
Status of Asiatic Lion
The Asiatic lion has been listed in th most endangered species in the world. The onslaught of human pressure has led to destruction of Lion's natural habitat. They are easily accessible for the poachers and hunters, which in-turn has declined the density of Asiatic lion. Gir is only the place which provides shelter to Indian Lion. Wildlife Conservation Programme for Asiatic lions was launched by forest Department which has expanded the forest area from 1265 to 1421 sq km. With implementation of wildlife management and Gir Development Scheme, the population of Lions has increased to some extent