Would You Like to See Rare Asiatic Lions of Gir National Park? Plan a Tour This Time!

The Sasan-Gir region which is located 65 kilometer towards south-east of Junagarh city in the state of Gujarat, was a complete jungle before 100 years ago. The entire Junagarh area was then frequented by the Indian Rajas – Maharajas and British high officials such as Lord Curzon for hunting purpose only. This region was purely hunting excursion for them. However, later in the year of 1899 high profile men put a permanent stop and strictly prohibited to their lion-hunting tours. It was noted during those period that the number of lions decreased due to severe famine in the region. Post Independence, the government of India completely banned hunting and any kind of poaching activities in the year 1960.

Later in the year of 1965, Sasan Gir was officially declared as a sanctuary and protected area for the Asiatic Lions.  Now it is spread over 412 square kilometers in the Saurashtra region of the Gujarat. And present Gir National Park is one of the noted habitats for the rare Asiatic Lions in the world. Apart from the African Lions, Gir is the place where king of Jungle can be found. That’s the main reason why Gir attracts huge number of wildlife enthusiasts and research scholars from around the planet. Gir hosts more than 30 species of mammals, 600 plus species of plants, and a wide range of birds and insects.

Exploring Gir sanctuary to experience life amidst wilderness is an experienced best enjoyed by Jeep Safari Or Devalia Jeep. Additionally, there are many decent accommodation options available for visitors near the sanctuary.

Jeep Safari Timing in Gir National Park

6:30 AM to 8:30 AM

8:30 AM to 10:30 AM

3:00 PM to 5:30 PM


What else to do in Gir National Park?

Tourists can take delight in a number of activities that can be enjoyed such as:

  • Bird watching
  • Visit to Devaliya Safari Park
  • Visit to Maldharis Tribe
  • Crocodile Breeding
  • Visit to Siddis Tribe

When is the best time to visit Gir National Park?

An ideal time to visit Gir National Park is between December and March. The park remains closed from June 16 to September 15 every year due to rainy season.

Where to Stay?

There are number of wildlife resorts located on the outskirts of Gir National Park. Tourists can choose from a number of two-star, three star, four-star and five-star properties in the Gir region. Gir Jungle Lodge, Anil Farm House, Savaj Resort are some of the best options that offer cool accommodation.

A canine virus may be killing the last of India’s Asiatic lions

Group of Miscreants Abused and Harassed Lions While Eating Prey in Gir National Park

A deadly epidemic may be wiping out the world’s last few Asiatic lions.

In the past one month alone, at least 23 of the big cats have died in the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park in the western Indian state of Gujarat. These deaths include those of three cubs and three adult females.

Initially, forest officials suspected some of these deaths to have occurred in a territorial battle. “This is a natural course of action among lions,” Gir forest official GK Sinha had said. Three adult male lions from another area entered the forest in September and killed the cubs in an incident of infighting, Sinha had said.

However, tests conducted at the Indian Council of Medical Research’s National Institute of Virology, Pune, have officially confirmed the presence of the deadly canine distemper virus (CDV) in at least four of the tissue samples extracted from the carcasses.

“CDV is extremely infective (sic). In Serengeti (national park in Tanzania) it killed a 1,000 lions in three weeks. Such epidemics are like natural catastrophes that come without any forewarning. Translocation is good for lion conservation and one has to only follow the supreme court’s order to implement it,” Ravi Chellam, a conservation scientist, told the Mint newspaper.
Environmentalists believe scavenging for food and sharing space with feral dogs has lead to the spread of CDV.

While the lion population has jumped from 411 in 2010 to 523 in 2015, and then to 600 lions by now, Gir’s 1,621 square kilometre area has remained constant. That leaves a decreasing amount of area per lion.

In the meantime, listed as a “critically endangered” species in 2000, the Asiatic lion’s status was upgraded to just “endangered” in 2008 after its numbers increased.

Emails to the ministry of environment, forest, and climate change and to the forest department of Gujarat remained unanswered.

Warning ignored
Foreseeing such mass deaths, the supreme court of India had, more than five years ago, ordered the shifting of some lions from Gujarat to Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh to keep them safe from such epidemics.

Resource Link: https://qz.com/india/1414444/why-are-indias-asiatic-lions-dying-in-gir-gujarat/