Helping Lions In The Wild
Asiatic lions are now among the world’s rarest big cat species. Numbers have fallen dramatically in the past 100 years, almost to the point of extinction.
They once occupied much of southwest Asia, but now they’re only found in India’s Gir Forest, one of Asia’s most important conservation areas. At the
lowest point, there were only 200 of the lions left in the wild.
In May 2015, the 14th Asiatic Lion Census, covering 7,700 square miles of land, estimated that 523 Asiatic lions now exist, consisting of 109 adult males, 201 adult females and 213 cubs. Forest fires or an epidemic of disease could still spell the end for the species.
Conservation work, including breeding programmes like the one at Cotswold Wildlife Park, continues today and the lions are classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
The growing cubs await their own role in lion conservation. Jackie Thomas.