Asiatic Lions Animals & Plants

About the Asiatic Lions

The Asian Lion is a subspecies of the lion which survives today only in India and therefore it is also known as the Indian or Gir lion. Asian Lions once ranged from the Mediterranean to India, covering most of Southwest Asia where it was also known as the Persian Lion. Like their African cousins, Asian lions are highly sociable animals living in social units called prides. The Asian lion pride is smaller. Mating is not seasonal and takes place all year round. Male Asian lions reach sexual maturity at around 5 years old and female Asian lions reach sexual maturity earlier at around 4 years old. The gestation period last for between 100 – 119 days after which 1 – 6 cubs are born. Intervals between births can be 18 – 26 months.

Habitat

The majestic Asiatic lion once roamed across the Middle East and Asia, from Greece to Bangladesh, However, by the early 1900s the species had been hunted to the brink of extinction.  Today, an estimated 500 Asiatic lions exist in the wild, living in the Indian state of Gujarat, Western India.

Wild Notes

Similar to most large cats Asian lions are equipped with powerful retractable claws and long sharp canine teeth that are used in dragging their prey to the ground. The Asian lion is a carnivore. Its typical diet consists of deer, antelope, wild boar and buffalo.

Conservation

Due to conservation initatives, this small population is steadily increasing but the species is listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), as it is still vulnerable to many threats. An outbreak of contagious disease or natural disaster could have drastic consequences for the species.The Gir Forest National Park and Sanctuary remains the stronghold for this species in the 21st Century and its protection is of paramount importance.

Did you know?

Lions are the only cats that live in groups, called prides. Prides are family units that may include up to three males, a dozen or so females, and their young. All of a pride's lionesses are related and female cubs typically stay with the group as they age. Young males eventually leave and may establish their own prides by taking over a group headed by another male.

The Fota Connection

The Asiatic Lion Habitat was opened in Fota in 2016. The two females Gita and Gira first arrived at the park followed by male Shanto. The Asiatic Lions at the Wildlife Park are to be part of the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme and it is hoped that the lions will breed in the future.

Donate online and help make the Asian Sanctuary at Fota Wildlife Park a reality!

Please support our Asian Sanctuary Fund by Donating online

The impetus for the development of the Asia Sanctuary is to enhance the Wildlife Park to become an iconic international visitor attraction.

The concept of the development will be in line with the existing unique open nature of the Wildlife Park but will be designed to give this new development an authentic Asian ambiance.

Phase 1: Asian Forestry June 2014

75.01%

So far we've raised

1,500,160

Help us reach our target

Phase 2: Asian Wetlands June 2015

0.01%

So far we've raised

210

Help us reach our target

Phase 3: Asian Plains June 2016

0.01%

So far we've raised

215

Help us reach our target