Asiatic Lion (Winner In T.F.P.C. 28/03/11) The Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica) also known as the Indian lion, Persian lion and Eurasian Lion is a subspecies of lion. The only place in the wild where the lion is found is in the Gir Forest of Gujarat, India. In 2010, the Gujarat government reported that 411 Asiatic lions were sighted in the Gir forest; a rise of 52 over the last census of 2005.
The Asiatic lion is one of the five major big cats found in India, the others being the Bengal tiger, the Indian leopard, the snow leopard and clouded leopard. The Asiatic lions once ranged from the Mediterranean to the north-eastern parts of the Indian subcontinent, but excessive hunting, water pollution and decline in natural prey reduced their habitat. Historically, Asiatic lions were classified into three kinds – Bengal, Arabian and Persian lions. Asiatic lions are smaller and lighter than their African counterparts, but are equally aggressive.