INDIA – The Asiatic lion
The Asiatic lion, also called the Indian lion, is a subspecies of lion that lives only in the Forest of Gir, in the Indian state of Gujarat.
The Asiatic lion is one of the five big cats of India, together with the Bengal tiger, the Indian leopard, the snow leopard and the clouded leopard, it is sometimes mistakenly considered the national animal of India, but in reality the animal symbol of India is the tiger.
The Asian lions compared to the African cousins are similar in size and shape, but have differences in the skull (ears and nose), the male specimen has on average a less imposing mane but has a fur that is more developed overall ( for example, the tufts of hair on the elbows are generally more developed than in the African lion, the tail is thicker and longer).
Asian lions are social animals that live in flocks, less numerous than those of African lions and on average they include only two females (instead of four-six), they have less sociable habits and join the other members of the herd only to mate or around to the carcass of a particularly large prey.
They feed mainly on deer, antelopes, gazelles, wild boars, wild buffalo and domestic cattle, so in general they are fairly small prey for which capture requires the collaboration of a few elements.
The hunt for these animals was a very popular activity among British settlers and Indian royalty, fortunately the numbers in the last decade have increased, about 700 specimens have been registered.