Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tracking lions’ long trail through the ages


Tracking lions' long trail through the ages

DNA – India By Jumana Shah


AHMEDABAD: Gujarat today is used to seeing the endangered Asiatic lions only in the Gir forest, their last abode. But there was a time when lions roamed all over Asia and were the crowning glory of the continent. In a first of its kind attempt, a book that has been published recently covers the lion's journey through centuries through the eyes of experts of those times.


The book titled 'Lions of India' has been compiled by president of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) - India, Divyabhanusinh Chavda. Released across India last month, the book has become popular among environmentalists and wildlife enthusiasts.


"Lions globally are associated mainly with the African grasslands. Few people know that in India they once roamed the plains of Haryana and Punjab, wandered as far as in Bihar and walked the grasslands around Delhi. Not more than 10 books have been written about the Asiatic lions, while hundreds have been written on African lions and even the tigers," said Chavda.


He pointed out, "The book is an attempt to put together the anthology of lions and what the authors thought of the lions when they were alive. The publication is a result of extensive research of the works written by them during their times."


The extracts in the book range from 1884 about shikar to an analysis of the implications of politics of 2008 for the survival of lions. Some pieces have close observation of nature while others explain population patterns and genetic reduction.

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