HDW ENTERPRISES &
Foothill Felines Bengals/Savannahs
The Asiatic Lion Panthera leo persica, also known as the "Indian Lion", is an extremely endangered subspecies of the lion which today survives only in India. Historically, this big cat covered an area from the Mediterranean to India, including most of Southwest Asia where it was also known as the "Persian Lion". At this writing, the population of the Asiatic Lion in the wild numbers only about 300 cats, all within the Gir Forest in the state of Gujarat, India. There are some significant differences between the Asiatic Lion and their cousins, the African Lions. Asiatic lions have much shaggier coats; have a longer tassel of hair on the end of their tails, and they also have longer hair tufts on their elbows. Both sexes of the Asiatic lion have a distinctive fold of skin that runs along the belly. All subspecies of lions are social cats, and live in family groups called "prides". The Asiatic Lion usually has a smaller pride consisting of perhaps two females per pride, while the prides of the African Lion can include up to six females, and sometimes more.
Conservation and reintroduction efforts have been greatly hampered by the fact that many breedings took place between the African Lions rescued from circuses and the captive Asian Lion population. There are major steps being taken now in India to preserve the bloodline integrity of the pure, native Asiatic Lions.
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