An intimate and stunning photo portrait of the last remaining Asiatic lions fighting for survival in the Indian forests

These pictures show some of the only Asiatic lions left on Earth which roam freely in a forest in India.

Taken by award-winning wildlife photographer Uri Golman they show the rare species in their natural environment in the Gir Forest in the western state of Gujarat.

There are only about 411 of the big cats, including 150 adults, left in the wild but according to scientist Dr Luke Hunter they are quickly outgrowing their habitat and one of their only chances of survival is relocation.

Indian lion expert Dr Ravi Chellam has already developed plans for the relocation to the Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary in a neighbouring state of Madhya Pradesh.

However, the state government of Gujarat is refusing to give permission and wildlife critics have said it is because authorities are trying to protect the income brought in from tourists.

The lions are not as big as their African cousins but have longer tufts of hair and are more orange in colour. Historically they roamed Greece through to Iran and all the way to India and were used by the Romans in gladiator fights at the Colosseum.

But sadly loss of habitat and poaching has meant a dramatic decrease in numbers and the species is now endangered.

Their main source of prey is chital deer and livestock and it is one of the five major cats found in India. The others are the Bengal tiger, the Indian leopard, the snow leopard and clouded leopard.


Read more : dailymail


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