Unlike its counterpart in Africa, the highly protective lioness dominates prides in Gujarat’s Gir National Park in India, the only place on earth where Asiatic lions are found.
“Lionesses are the ‘king’ of Gir. Unlike their African counterparts where male owns the pride, here female lions own the pride. Through promiscuity and confused paternity, lionesses safeguard their cubs.” says Y V JHALA, senior scientist at Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India.
According to a Wildlife Institute of India study, the lionesses of Gir, unlike those in Africa, allow in their areas only those males who ensure the safety of their cubs.
The typical Gir female does not mate for two years or till the cubs start making kills on their own. In Africa, the cubs stay with the mother for a shorter period and safety is ensured by the father.
Gir lionesses select their mate; in Africa, it’s the male or a group of males that takeover the pride by defeating the incumbent male.
30,000 is the 2015 estimate of lion population in Africa’s bigger landscape, a drop of 43% since 1991.
8,000 years ago — before Harappan culture existed — lions migrated into Asia from Africa.