Lion population in Gir National Park, Gujarat:
Thanks to the villagers around Gir forest, the lion population has rapidly increased. The villagers treat lions as their own which has resulted in a very positive and healthy outcome. The king of the jungle seems to have found himself a true friend among the villagers.
As we all know, lions like other animals, are disappearing on a large scale. But the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary is an incredible exception in this matter. Due to their relentless efforts and hard work by the state’s forest department, they have successfully provided Asiatic lions a safe and healthy environment. According to statistics, in 2010 there were approx 411 lions which has increased to 523 in 2015.
According to census-
The census has conducted by the 14th Asiatic Lion over an area of about 20,000 km which revealed that presently there are 523 lions which compose of 109 males and 201 females with 213 little cubs at Gir Sanctuary, which is the world’s only home of Asiatic lion.
But what you hear next will definitely melt your hearts. It is said that due to the presence of lions around, the villagers seem to sleep more soundly. Even the forest department officials claimed that it is only because of the people that lions are safe even outside the sanctuary. The public has looked after the lions as their own pet. Sometimes, they even tend to destroy their own cattle for the king of the jungle. They are so connected that a prayer meeting was organized in Amreli, after 13 lions were washed away in the flash floods.
Anshuman Sharma, the deputy conservator of forests told a village called Gondol, where villagers have requested not to capture a certain lioness because it acts like a security guard, protecting them from other wild animals.
Rajmata, a radio-collared lioness, had wandered away from the area. The forest department captured the lioness, gave it a new radio-collar, and kept it in the zoo,” says Manoj Joshi who is a trustee of Pariyavaran Samiti in the area. He also adds ‘But the local residents went to the forest office and urged the officials to free the lionesses.’
These villagers are the true heroes that consider every animals as their friends- no matter how dangerous they are.