The Asiatic Lion (Panthera leo leo) is an endangered lion, native only to the Gir Forest of India. It is also known as the Indian Lion.
The Asiatic Lion is a tawny beige colour, with some black speckles. The male has a mane of hair around its head, and the female (lioness) has no mane. It has a fold of skin along its belly, called a belly fold.
It measures 107-120 centimetres (42-47 inches) tall. Its tail measures 79-89 centimetres (31-35 inches) long, with a tuft of hair at the end.
The Asiatic Lion is only found in the Gir National Forest in Gujarat, India, where it is protected in a sanctuary. It prefers forest habitats and savannahs. Males are territorial, defending their territory.
It feeds on wild boar, deer, buffalo, cattle, and small mammals.
Males are solitary or will form a small group of male lions. Males and females are found together during mating season. Females are pregnant for about 110 days, before giving birth to 1-4 live young, called cubs. Cubs live in the female group until they are independent. The cubs are independent after about three years.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM