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Asiatic Lion (Panthera leo persica)

Asiatic Lion | Panthera leo persica photo
Asiatic Lion, Bristol Zoo (England)
Photograph by Adrian Pingstone. License: Public Domain.


Description

Asiatic Lions are slightly smaller than African lions and thicker tail tufts. Males have shorter manes and the ears are visible. Another difference is the longitudinal fold of skin running along the belly which is prominent in Asiatic Lions but rarely seen in African Lions. The colour ranges from sandy grey to reddish-brown to mottled brown and black.

Other Names

Asian lion

Size

Length: male 292 cm (maximum). Height: 107cm (maximum) Weight: males 160kg - 190kg; females 110kg - 120kg.

Habitat

found only in the Gir forest

Food

feed mainly on sambar and chital deer. Also eats other mammals such as wild boar and domestic cattle and other livestock.

Breeding

Asiatic lions are social animals and live in groups called prides. Asiatic lion prides are smaller than African lion prides with usually only two adult females in a pride compared with four to six females in an African Lion pride. Asiatic lion males are less social and only join the pride when mating or on a large kill. Breeding takes place throughout the year. Females give birth to litters of between 1 and 5 cubs (average two or three). A third of the cubs do not survive past the first year. Adult females live to 17-18 years, males live to 16 years.

Range

The Asiatic Lion is only found in India It used to range from northern Greece, through south west Asia to central India, but became extinct in Europe by 100 AD. By the 1800s it had disappeared from Turkey, and by middle of 20th century was gone from Iran and Iraq.

Conservation Status

The conservation status in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals is "vulnerable".



Classification
Class:Mammalia
Order:Carnivora
Family:Felidae
Genus:Panthera
Species:leo persica
Relatives in same Genus
  African Lion (P. leo)
  Jaguar (P. onca)
  Leopard (P. pardus)
  Tiger (P. tigris)

Tiger | Panthera tigris photo
Asiatic Lioness, Bristol Zoo (England)
Photograph by Adrian Pingstone. License: Public Domain.