Many, many centuries ago the Asian lion (hiscalled Indian) inhabited a vast territory - from northeastern India to modern Italy, as well as in Iran, the Arabian Peninsula, northern Africa, Greece. It was these animals that joined the fights with the gladiators in the arenas of the amphitheatres of Rome. Hunt for predators was considered a very prestigious affair, although dangerous. But another time has come. People armed themselves with more sophisticated weapons, and the lions ceased to interest them.
Now this ferocious beast canTo see only in one corner of the globe (in a natural environment, not counting zoos). The Asian lion inhabits India, in the state of Gujarat. The area of the reserve is small - only 1,400 square kilometers.
In 2011 there were four hundred and eleven individuals in this territory. This is fifty-two lions more than in 2005, which can not but rejoice.
A very formidable beast is an Asian lion. The description does not convey that power and power that is hidden in it. This is a truly powerful and beautiful animal. Interestingly, the Asian lion is slightly smaller than the African lion. They have different manes. In "Africans" it is more magnificent. The weight of males reaches one hundred and sixty - one hundred and ninety kilograms. Females are slightly smaller, their body weight, as a rule, does not exceed one hundred and twenty kilograms.
The Asian lion is a social animal. Predators live by family groups, which are called prides. However, Asian flocks are small. This is due to the fact that in Asia, production is much smaller. So, only two lionesses can hunt for a ungulate animal, not six. Males only guard the territory and reproduce the genus. This is their duty. Food is obtained only by lionesses. So the males are pretty well settled.
Asian prides have 8-12 animals each, andin African there can be up to thirty cats (these are females, males and cubs). There can be no more than two males in a group, mostly brothers. One of them always dominates, both in battle with the enemy, and when choosing a female. Pride is made up of female individuals, who are related and, most interestingly, friendly relations. The group retains its existence for several years.
Pride resides in a certain territory, which it secures. Its size depends on the amount of extraction, the size of the group and can cover up to four hundred kilometers square.
Males, having reached two or three years of age,leave the family. They either remain single, or unite with their odnodokami and roam around the pride, waiting for the moment when the leader weakens, then they will seize the group and hold it for a couple of years. A few males are easier to protect their pride than a lion.
Here reign, often cruel laws ... After capturing the group, the male first destroys the lion. Lionesses usually can not influence the situation. Only a cub older than one year can survive. The female after the death of the offspring after a couple of weeks calms down and then gives birth to a new baby leader. This behavior of lions gives them the opportunity to acquire their own offspring. As the leaders change every three or four years, then, leaving the alien lives, they simply do not have time to raise their own.
As already mentioned, the Asian lion is spread outin the territory of Eurasia, in the north-east of India, in the Girskie forests. After the mass extermination in the 19th century. the number of them noticeably fell, in 1884 graceful handsome were already only west of Hindustan. After 14 years, the Nawab Junagadha proclaimed their protection.
But even today, despite all attempts to preservespecies, the population of the Asian lion is very low, which causes a natural alarm. In the late twentieth century, even opened a special program for breeding animals in the forests of North America. An important factor is also the preservation of the purity (genetic) of this species. And this means that it is impossible to cross the Asian and African brothers, as the Asian lion in nature and so is less common. He can just "get lost" among the inhabitants of the African savannah.
In the Girsky Reserve,an increase in the population of lions. The state leadership, in which the reserve is located, does not yet plan to transfer any animals to menageries of other states. Since this animal is unique, the reserve has various privileges. And if the lions become commonplace in other places, the situation can radically change.
In Africa, the lions lived well before the twentiethcentury. When the safari of European guests came into fashion, there was a thoughtless extermination of many animals. In general, the decrease in the number of species occurred much earlier, during the appearance of firearms.
In general, the most favorable habitat forlions is a savannah, the landscape of which is open and perfectly visible, which means it is convenient for hunting. These lands are rich in watering and prey. However, lions can adapt to any conditions. Lack of food and food will not lead to extinction. Until the time for their total extermination, the animals quietly lived in semi-deserts, in the foothills, and on hot coasts.
Usually an Asian lion resting in the daytime in the shade, andnight hunting. Extraction for him are zebras, antelopes, warthogs. Ninety percent of all food is produced by lionesses. Males are larger and therefore not so successful in hunting, but they start eating first, while driving females and cubs away. Lionesses from the same pride hunt together and act very harmoniously.
Not all attacks are successful, and yet a dayThe female needs up to five kilograms of meat, the male - seven. Lions can not eat for three days. But then, when they get food, they can eat up to thirty kilograms at a time. During or after a meal, the animals must quench their thirst.
When the drought period comes, mostUngulates go to seek water, and predators begin to hunt small animals, crocodiles and even snakes. They are able to eat carrion. The system of their food is such that the strongest eats. In a drought period, members of one pride fight with each other for each bone.
Lion roar, perhaps, the most formidable and terrible ofall sounds produced by wild animals. It can be heard at great distances (up to nine kilometers). Usually at sunset, the lions announce their whole district with their growl, as if to say that the territory is busy.
Reproduction in lions occurs at a certain timethe time of the year, usually in the rainy season. Pregnancy of the female lasts 110 days. Before the birth of the kids, she goes away from the family, into the thickets. A maximum of four babies are born usually.
Lions are born blind, with a weight of twokg. Already in six weeks they run around the den. During this period the female protects her little ones especially. Careful, she changes the shelter every few days, dragging along and lionizing. Later, the female with the cub returns to its pride. Lionesses feed milk not only to their babies, but also to strangers.
They are generally very good-natured and caringrelation to their offspring. At the age of fourteen weeks, the lions and mothers go hunting. While they are only from the side watching the process. But in a year they can already get their own food. However, they become more independent by the age of sixteen months. Young lions leave the family in three to four years, the females, as a rule, remain in the pride.
Strangely enough, but the lionesses live more than males,perhaps this is due to the fact that they are under the protection of pride. Lions, after losing their strength, leave the family and live out their days alone, under unpleasant conditions. Life expectancy for lionesses is fifteen to sixteen years, and males rarely survive to twelve.
The Asian lion is spread on the territory of Eurasiacurrently only within the reserves and zoos. These handsome men are guarded, thanks to which they managed to achieve a small increase in their numbers, even in conditions of captivity. That's how he is defenseless - an Asian lion. The Red Book of Russia contains lists of endangered animals that are on the verge of extinction. It is regrettable, but in them came representatives of felines, who, despite the formidable appearance, were unarmed before the man.