The Wild Lions of India
The Asiatic Lion once roamed by the thousands across Syria, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and India, but human hunters have made them nearly extinct. To find one of the 411 left, your best bet is to visit the Gir Forest National Park in India. They are similar to African lions and equally as big, up to 430 lbs. The Gir National Park consists of 100 square miles in Gujarat province near the Arabian Sea (close to Karachi, Pakistan). The funny thing about the Indian lion is that many Indians know little about them or that they have lions in their country, tigers, yes, but lions?
India nearly lost their lions in 1913, a time when only 20 remained. Hunting lions there was outlawed and the Gir sanctuary came into being in 1965. The Gir park is also home to 300 species of birds and spotted deer.
Three times a day, a three hour safari trip occurs and costs $45 plus a $10 photo fee. The entrance fee to the park is $23. The vehicle is a six passenger open top jeep that frequently go off road to find the beasts. Flying from NYC to Mumbai is 14 hrs. and then a 2.5 hr drive to the park. Basic accommodations run about $80 a night near the park. The closet town to the park is Ahmedabad