The population of rare Asiatic lions in India has jumped by nearly a third in the past five years to almost 700, an official survey said, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailing the increase as an “excellent feat”.
Asiatic lions—slightly smaller than their African cousins and with a fold of skin along their bellies—are only found in the wild in the Gir sanctuary in western Gujarat, Modi’s home state.
“Population of the majestic Asiatic Lion, living in Gujarat’s Gir Forest, is up by almost 29 percent,” the Indian leader tweeted Wednesday. MORE
Header image: a young Asiatic lion rests after a kill at the Gir Sanctuary in Gujarat, only place they are found in the wild.