In a news that could bring some cheers to wildlife conservations efforts in India, over a 100 lionesses in Gujarat's Gir forest are pregnant. The Gir Sanctuary is the only home for the Asiatic lions.
As per the census conducted by the forest department in 2015, the population of lions in Gir has seen a rise. The total number of the felines in the state at 523, up from 411 lions counted in 2010. There are 106 male, 201 female and 213 sub-adult lions in the wilderness of the state.
Asiatic Lions, once plentiful in forests across India saw their numbers dwindling in the beginning of the 20th century.
Efforts to revive the species were first made in the year 1910. The Nawab of Junagadh imposed a ban on the hunting of lions within the boundaries of his province. The ban was continued even when India gained independence in 1947.
In 1960s and 1970s, Gir forest, the home of the last surviving Indian lions, was converted into a National Park and Sanctuary, which currently attracts lakhs of tourists from within and outside India.