Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu today asked everyone to raise awareness to propagate the cause of lion conservation on the occasion of World Lion Day. In his message, the Vice President asked people to rededicate themselves to creating safe habitats for lions so that their population increases further.
On the World Lion Day today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi too conveyed greetings to all those passionate about lion conservation.
In a tweet, Mr Modi said, it would make everyone happy that the last few years have seen a steady increase in India’s lion population. He said, the lion is majestic and courageous and India is proud to be home to the Asiatic Lion.
Mr Modi said, when he was serving as Chief Minister of Gujarat, he had the opportunity to work towards ensuring safe and secure habitats for the Gir Lions. He said, a number of initiatives were taken which involved local communities and global best practices to ensure habitats are safe and tourism also gets a boost.
Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said, as many as 674 Asiatic Lions spread across 30,000 square kilomtres reside and thrive in Gujarat. He said, it is a great conservation success story as the big cat is re-colonising its lost territories.
World Lion Day is being celebrated today with an emphasis to raise awareness and gather support for their declining population and conservation. The theme of World Lion Day- 2021 is ‘Slow Elimination of the African lion’.
Currently, they are listed as endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List.
The Asiatic lions found in India are mostly found in the restricted Gir Forest and National Park and its surrounding areas.
There were 650 wild lions in India. They include 109 adult males, 201 females and 2013 cubs. Gujarat is the only state with 100 per cent of the Asiatic lion population in the world. Lion Day was first observed in 2013, to protect big cats.