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.
Tag Archives: Asiatic
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
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.
Visiting Gir National Park
Gir Forest National Park is a wildlife sanctuary in Gujarat, western India. It was established to protect Asiatic lions. Gir National Park is the only place in the world outside Africa where a lion can be seen in its natural habitat. The lions of Gir are a majestic animal, averaging 2.75 meters in length, and with a bigger tail tassel, bushier elbow tuffs and prominent belly folds than his African cousin which has larger mane. Gir is a home to 40 species of mammals and 425 species of birds.
We went on four safaris at Gir using open air utility vehicles. Here is a composite of the entrances to the park and two vehicles following a lion walking on the forest road.