The Barasingha, also known as the swamp deer, is a deer species distributed in the Indian subcontinent. It is a deer species with conspicuously large antlers. Overall, this mammal has as much as 12 antlers. In fact, the name of this species has Hindi origin and means ’12-antlered deer’. Unfortunately, Barasingha is nowadays among the most vulnerable deer species not only in the Indian Peninsula, but also throughout the world. The remaining small population of this species inhabits protected sanctuaries of India.

Here is a young Barasingha with damaged skin in Gir National Park.


Marsh Crocodile

Of the three crocodilian species found in India, the most common and widespread is the broad snouted Mugger Crocodile. Also known as Marsh Crocodile, this species inhabits a number of fresh water habitats such as rivers, lakes, reservoirs, hill streams, village ponds and man made tanks. Medium in size and very broad snouted, Muggers appear primarily grayish in color.

Here is a Mugger or Marsh crocodile captured in Gir National Park.

Marsh Crocodile
Marsh Crocodile Closeup

Lions Being Disturbed from Sleep

Lions are carnivores and the large amounts of protein they consume takes a lot of effort to digest. So the next time you see a lion snoozing, remember that these kings of the “jungle” aren’t just lazing around: they’re breaking down nutrients and storing up energy to dominate the food chain come evening!

Disturbances from somewhere wake up these male lions from sleep and they are wondering who all are making noise at Gir National Park.

Being Disturbed from Sleep
What is Going On?

Laziness of Lions

Copious amounts of beauty rest (up to 20 hours a day!) is a natural lion behavior that helps this iconic species preserve energy for when they really need it. Lions are crepuscular, meaning they are most active in twilight hours (between sunset and dusk and dawn and sunrise). Conserving energy during the warmer temperatures of the day gives lions an advantage over their prey, which are mainly species less active during the darker, cooler hours that lions thrive in. Additionally, like the majority of cat species, lion eyesight also improves in dimmer lighting.

Here are some male lions sleeping in quite unusual positions at Gir National Park, Gujarat, India.

Sleeping Male Lions
Sleeping Obliviously
Awkward Sleeping Position

Young Lion Focused

A young male lion focuses on something of interest at Gir National Park, Gujarat, India. Young males are chased out of pride when they are around two years of age and start being sexually mature. These bewildered male lions then head out alone into the wild, getting injured while hunting, falling victim to alpha males in the jungle, or getting caught in snares if they mistakenly venture near the villages along the forest.

Young Lion Focused

Baby Nilgai at a Watering Hole

A baby Nilgai weighs some where between 13.6 to 15.9 kilograms. Nilgai’s attain maturity at the age of eighteen months. The gestation period lasts for nearly eight months. The mother Nilgai usually gives birth to twins. In some cases, the number of young ones may also be one or three. Blue bulls of India are herbivores, and consume grasses, leaves, buds and fruits.

Here is a baby Nilgai at a watering hole in Gir National Park.

Baby Nilgai at a Watering Hole

Male Nilgai

Blue Bull, the other name of the Nilgai is one of the most commonly found wild animals in Gir National Park. Although it is an antelope it looks more or less like an ox. The Indian Blue Bull antelope grows to a length for 1.8 to 2 meters; it weighs nearly one hundred twenty to two hundred and forty kilograms. On the top of the long and narrow head a nilgai has two conical horns. The horns are straight and slightly tilted.

Nilgai Male

Carrying Away a Kill

Lionesses are the primary hunters, while dominant males are responsible for protecting the pride’s territory. Lion prey includes deer, buffalo, and other grassland animals. Here is a lioness in Gir National Forest standing over a kill and carrying it away in the deep forest.

Standing Over a Kill
Carrying a Kill
Carrying Away a Kill

Lioness of Gir

Lionesses outnumber males by a substantial margin, despite a near 50% male/female birth ratio. This is probably due to the tendency of males to be nomads, take on more dangerous game, and be killed in pride takeover attempts. Lionesses are loving mothers who demonstrate communal care of cubs, with lactating mothers allowing any cub to suckle. Females employ a cooperative model of child-rearing, with one female staying behind to watch over the cubs while the other females hunt.

Here is a lioness strolling around in Gir National Park, Gujarat, India.

Backlighting a Lioness
Lioness in Stride
Lioness in Motion

Chitals in Gir

The chital or cheetal, also known as the spotted deer, chital deer, and axis deer, is a deer species native to the Indian subcontinent. While males weigh 150–200 lb., females weigh around 88–132 lb. Males are larger than females, and antlers are present only on males.They are quite abundant in Gir National Park, India.

Chital Male
Chital Female

Male Asiatic Lion

The Asiatic lion, a subspecies that split from African lions around 100,000 years ago, once prowled across Asia and the Middle East. Since the turn of the 20th century, its range has been restricted to Gir National Park and the surrounding areas in the Indian state of Gujarat. Asiatic lions are slightly smaller than African lions. Male lions are not as sociable as females, joining the pride mainly for mating and on a large kill. Although hunting takes cooperation, adult males don’t tend to take part in it. 

Tail Between Legs

Strolling Lion

The discernible difference between Asiatic Lions and their African cousins is the shorter and sparser mane in male lions. Asiatic Lions also have a longitudinal fold of skin running along the abdomen, rarely seen in African lions. Here is an Asiatic lion strolling in Gir National Park, Gujarat, India

Lion in Motion
A Purposeful Stride

Seeking Lions

Gir National Park in India is the only natural habitat of world popular Asiatic Lions. When one visits Gir, the primary objective, waking up at dawn, is to see lions while riding in open, utility vehicles. If lucky, you can even spot a lion walking along the road, but it seems these tourists are looking in another direction.

Dawn in Gir
Following a Lion

Costa Rica Green Iguana

The green iguana is a reptile that is found mainly in rain forests of northern Central America, several parts of Costa Rica, Mexico, the Caribbean Islands, and southern Brazil. Adults can range in color from green to brown to almost black. During breeding season (Late fall/early winter), mature male iguanas take on an orange coloration, along with their heavy jowls and dewlap, in order to attract mates.

Costa Rica Green Iguana