Most of us may have seen lions either in the books or in zoos but if you are thrilled to see them moving around and if that does not scare you, then there is a place in Gujarat known as Sasan Gir. It is located 65 km from Junagadh district in Gujarat. Besides Africa, Sasan Gir is the only place to spot lions roaming freely in their own ways and behaving naturally.
It was noted that the population of Asiatic Lions had fallen severely and only 20 species were left. This was a serious concern as it hit the number that claims it to be endangered species. It was important to save lions and with this thought the habitat of lions, Sasan Gir was declared a wild life sanctuary in the year 1965 on 18th September. It covers a total area of 1,412 sq km and consists of core area that covers 258 km.
The most interesting thing about Gir forest is that you can see varieties of fauna and flora besides those endangered Asiatic Lions. If you happen to take a safari ride that the Gir authorities offer, you will feel like you are watching a live National Geographic Channel. With commendable efforts of forest department there was a genuine rise in the number of Asiatic lions from 20 in 1913 to 523 in the year 2015. Out of these, there are 106 males, 201 female and 213 sub-adult lions in this massive forest ground.
Gir is the only place as of now to see Asiatic lions and over the years their number have been reversed that was once on the verge of extinction. Hence a lot of tourists and animal lovers get attracted to this place. The forest department has made sincere efforts to do so. Today, Gir is famous for its reserve of Asiatic Lions. Junagadh district in Gujarat is the most convenient place to reach Sasan Gir. You can hire a taxi, public buses are available too and you can also book a train ticket to reach Gir.
The wild life sanctuary remains open for all the visitors from October 16 to June 15. It is not very safe to visit Sasan Gir in monsoon as it rains heavily and there is a possibility of getting stuck in water. It is difficult for anyone to come to rescue if someone is stuck up in rain water.
Note that the lions occupy the top most position in the food chain in their ecosystem hence they do not fall prey to anyone. They are carnivores and they have an organised eating system. One male lion with a pride of up to five female lions live together. Once their prey has failed to compete; the male and the entire pride of female feed on it in a hierarchical order. The male leads following by female, sub adults and then cubs when comes to eating their fallen prey.
Being one of the ‘big five’, lion has the ability to make a huge roar. Its large sound can surely make you chill down the spine. Males can roar louder than female and if not interrupted by vegetation and trees then its roar can be heard till miles.
Lions have their mating season through the year. Male lions have the life span of around 16 years while female lives a year or two longer than males. Each male lion have their territory marked by their urine spray or roaring. There’s no doubt the Lion is the king of jungle and its mane is his pride. Feel the roar.