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World Lion Day

  • 10 Aug 2023
  • 4 min read

Source: DTE

Why in News?

World Lion Day is celebrated every year on 10th August to raise awareness about the conservation of lions and their habitats. It was first established in 2013 by Big Cat Rescue, the world’s largest accredited sanctuary dedicated to lions.

  • Recent studies have revealed that lions were once present in the Arabian Peninsula, significantly influencing Arab culture.
  • It is noted that Arabic dialects and literature contain an extensive array of almost 700 distinct names or expressions referring to the lion.

What does the Recent Research Suggest?

  • Lions, often associated with the vast savannas of East and Southern Africa, and the Gir forest in Kathiawar, India but they were once an integral part of the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula.
    • The evidence of the lion's presence, though now extinct, resounds through historical accounts, archaeological findings, and linguistic nuances.
  • Research reveals that lions occupied a vast and diverse range spanning the Arabian Peninsula, North Africa, Eurasia, and parts of India.
    • The lion's habitat extended from latitudes as far south as 15°N (Yemen) to 18°N (Mali, Chad) and as far north as 45-48°N (Bulgaria, Ukraine, Hungary).
    • It is noteworthy that lions thrived in various environments, including deserts, steppes, and maritime coasts.
  • Lions exhibited remarkable adaptability, dwelling in the arid deserts of the Arabian Peninsula, including Sinai, Sahara, and Yemen.
    • This presence is supported by Neolithic rock engravings found in Saudi Arabia and Oman.
    • By the early 20th century, evidence of the lion's presence had faded. Observations in 1920 showed no records of lions in Afghanistan, Balochistan, or southern Arabia.

What are the Major Facts About Lions?

  • Scientific Name: Panthera leo
    • The lion is divided into two subspecies: the African lion (Panthera leo leo) and the Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica).
  • Characteristics:
    • Lions are known for their distinctive appearance, including a tawny coat, a tufted tail, and a prominent mane in males.
    • They are social animals and live in groups called prides. A pride typically consists of multiple females, their offspring, and a few adult males.
  • Distribution and Habitat:
    • Lions are found in sub-Saharan Africa and a small population exists in the Gir Forest National Park in the Indian state of Gujarat.
  • Protection Status:
  • Conservation Efforts in India:

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Question (PYQ)

Q. Consider the following statements: (2019)

  1. Asiatic lion is naturally found in India only.
  2. Double-humped camel is naturally found in India only.
  3. One-horned rhinoceros is naturally found in India only.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only 
(b) 2 only 
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (a)

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