New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amid the lockdown across the country to prevent the spread of dreadful Covid-19, many incidents of wild animals being killed have come to fore creating ahuge uproar on the social media demanding justice and protection to the animals.

The inhuman incidents of wildlife poaching in India have been doubled during the COVID-19 lockdown with 88 animals being killed for meat, desire, and trade during this time compared to 35 in the pre-lockdown days in February, as per the study conducted by TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring network and an NGO working globally on trade in wild animals.

However, amid the heartbreaking news of the animals getting killed every now and then, a great news has emerged about the Asiatic Lions which is making the whole India proud.

The data released by the Gujarat government stated that the population of Asiatic Lions have increased enormously.

“The population of Asiatic Lions has shown a steady increase with a population of 674 individuals with an increase rate of 28.87% (one of the highest growth rate so far) from the previous growth of 27% during 2015 (523 lions). "

"The distribution of the lions has increased from an area of 22000 sq. km in 2015 to 30000 sq. km in 2020 thus increasing the distribution area by 36%. There has been a consistent increase in the population and distribution area of Asiatic Lions mainly owing to the effective conservation and management by the Gujarat Forest Department,” the data showed.

Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as Sasan Gir, is a forest and wildlife sanctuary near Talala Gir in Gujarat, India. It is known all over the world as the last home of the Asiatic Lion. This sub-species was once widely distributed in Asia, from Asia Minor and Arabia through Persia to India.

Before the close of the last century, the Asiatic lion had become extinct from its range except for Gir. By the end of the 19th century, the then Nawab of Junagadh gave the number of lions in Gir as dozen. The Nawab provided adequate protection to the lions, and their population increased between the years 1904 and 1911 and from 1911 onwards, hunting was rigidly controlled.

The population of Asiatic Lions has gone up from 523 in 2015 to 674 in 2020. The same period also saw a 36% increase in the distribution area of the lions from 22,000 sq km in 2015 to 30,000 sq km in 2020.

The news was also fascinated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he shared a special bond with Gujarat. He took to Twitter and Instagram on Wednesday to share two ‘good news’ with the netizens. With four Asiatic Lion’s pictures he wrote, “Two very good news: The population of the majestic Asiatic Lion, living in Gujarat’s Gir Forest, is up by almost 29%. Geographically, the distribution area is up by 36%. Kudos to the people of Gujarat and all those whose efforts have led to this excellent feat.”

As per Forest Department data, there are 161 male, 260 female, 45 sub-adult male, 49 sub-adult female, 22 unidentified, and 137 cubs. Experts said the male-female ratio was healthy in the Gir region with 161 males vs 260 females.

Posted By: Talib Khan