How Asia's last lion was rescued after almost being wiped out
When we think of lions in their natural habitat, the first image that usually comes to mind is a vast African savannah studded with acacia trees, with herds of zebra and antelope moving across swathes of sun-baked soil. Lions used to range across Eurasia, but even today there is still one place outside of the African continent where you can see these magnificent beasts in the wild.
The Asiatic lion is smaller and shaggier than its African cousin, and can only be found in one location: India’s Sasan Gir National Park, on the country’s western edge. Despite their currently limited distribution, the story of the Asiatic lion is a rare conservation success story.
In the early 1900s the species hung by a thread, with as few as 20 individuals left in the wild after systematic hunting by British colonials brought the species to the brink of extinction.