Two `kings of forest` rule biggest pride in Gir

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 27, 2011 - 17:14

Vadodara: Experts have noticed a unique
behavioural pattern at Gujarat`s Gir National Park, where two
lions rule the biggest pride in the forest comprising 32
felines.

"For the first time in the sanctuary, two male adult
lions are ruling a pride of 32 felines. The duo controls 150
sq km of territory and displays dispersal behaviour. They do
not allow the other adults to feed, mingle with each other or
even let them come in vicinity of the pride," Dr Sandeep
Kumar, Deputy Conservator of Forest (DCF) said.

The Gir forest is the sole home to the Asiatic Lions
(Panthera Leo Persica).

"This (Gir) forest range is ruled by two male lions
known as `Kamleshwar males`. They established their territory
in this area in 2005 and till date are maintaining, protecting
and breeding in it",Kumar said.
Observing that dispersal is a unique behaviour of animals
which allows the species to occupy large and different
geographical ranges as it helps them in long term survival,
Kumar said the behavioural pattern also ensures less
intra-specific competition and even avoid inbreeding
depression.

According to the 2010 census, the lion population in the
forest has increased to 411.
Officials attribute the rise in population to factors
like better protection and other facilities, including
availability of abundant prey and water for the big cats.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, December 27, 2011 - 17:14

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