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A Pride Of 19 Asiatic Lions Spotted Together In Gir National Park

Written By Aishwaria Sonavane | Mumbai | Published:

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  • A large pride of 19 lioness spotted in Gir National Park
  • To accommodate their growing population, Gujarat government announced the setting up of two safari parks near Ahmadabad and Narmada district, closer to the Statue of Unity

A massive pride of Asiatic lion was found lounging in the Gir National Park in Gujarat. 

The pride of 19 lionesses including a cuddle-worthy bunch of cubs of approximately 6 months, left the tourist in sheer-awe with their abundant presence. 

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Gracing the forest with sheer royalty, this lion family was seen lounging in the serene plains of the forest. The Asiatic lion that is restricted only to the Gujarat region, seemed quite comfortable in the presence of the tourists. 

Listed as an endangered species, the Asiatic Lion is found in a single sub-population only in Gujarat, making them vulnerable to epidemics and wildfires. 

Last month, the Gujarat High Court ordered the state government to garner expert aid for the protection of this endangered species.     

A bench of chief justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice VM Pancholi gave an order to Gujarat the state government to draw a progress report on the building of a wall around open wells in lion-populated areas and action has to be taken to curb the electrocution. While the next hearing is on 16 January 2019, the reports were to be filed in three months. 

Two common causes of the lion deaths in Gir were due to falling in open wells and electrocution by electric fences. Even the death of 23 Asiatic lions created an uproar over finding them a second home. The cause of death was the canine distemper virus (CDV) spreading in the sole-abode of this endangered species. 

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Biologist  Fayaz Khudsar had filed a petition in the Supreme Court to seek translocation of the big cat to  Kuno Palpur in Madhya Pradesh, after claiming the deaths of 184 lions in the past two years in Gir National Park and around the villages of the Gir boundary. 

The 2015 census according to the Gujarat forest department suggests that out of 523 lions in the region, one third were residing outside of the core area, thus making them more susceptible to the virus. 

Later, the Gujarat government announced the setting up of two safari parks near Ahmadabad and Narmada district, closer to the Statue of Unity, to accommodate the rising lion population of Gir. 

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