The majestic Asiatic lion once roamed across Asia and the Middle East and Asia. But, by the early 1900s, the species had suffered from hunting – so much so that only about 20 remained in Western India.
Today, numbers are increasing and now there are about 600 Asiatic lions in the Gir Forest. The problem is that they are very vulnerable to forest fires and to disease.
ZSL is working with the Wildlife Institute of India and the Gujarat Forest Department to ensure the wonderful Asiatic Lion has a future.
4 ways ZSL are helping Asiatic Lions in the Gir Forest
Conservation support including training wildlife rangers and training them in using the SMART tool, which was developed by conservation organisations to establish effective patrolling systems, monitor wildlife populations and movements and identify threats such as poaching or disease
Veterinary support – lions have got stuck down wells and come into conflict with people, and the ZSL staff have taught vets vital lifesaving techniques such as how to intubate anaesthetised lions to help them breathe
Working with the Sakkarbaug Zoo where about 40 Asiatic Lions live – some have been injured too much to return to the wild or for other good reasons they live at the zoo. ZSL and the staff at the zoo share best practice and knowledge about the Asiatic Lions.
Education is vital to engage local communities and help them appreciate the importance of lion conservation.
Can I mention also the Lion Trust (who are specialist fund managers) who sponsor ZSL’s Asiatic Lions Campaign. We need more businesses to get involved like this. Thank you to the Lion Trust.