Sunday, July 08, 2012

The Asiatic Lion's Last Home

The Asiatic Lion's Last Home

The Asiatic lion has bounced back from the brink of extinction, but dangers still loom large. In pictures.

Gir Forest in the northwestern Indian state of Gujarat is the last home of the wild Asiatic lion. Shown, a lioness licked her cub in the sanctuary in Gir, March 26.

The number of Asiatic Lions has slowly but surely risen to over 400 in 2010 from just 17 in 1911, thanks to conservation efforts by the Nawab of Junagadh, the British administration and in recent years, the Indian Forest Department. Shown, a pride of lions rested in Gir Forest, Gujarat, March 24.

Experts warn that increased numbers could be detrimental to the survival of the species, as they will be more vulnerable to disease if they are crowded together. Shown, a lioness drank water in Gir Forest, March 25.

The Madhya Pradesh government filed a petition in the Supreme Court of India asking to relocate lions from Gir Forest to the Kuno-Palpur Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh. The Gujarat government, however, wants to keep the lions. Shown, a lion rested in Gir Forest, March 24.

Tourists took photos of a lion during a safari, March 25.

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