Lions and Tigers and Bears – Oh My!
These famous lines from the Wizard of Oz have been mocked by many who like to point out that lions are native to Africa, whereas tigers are found in Asia – not too fast nature lovers. India is the only country left in the world where both tigers and lions roam the wilds (not to mention bears as the title of the post points out.)
The Asiatic lion, which once ranged from Greece to Bangladesh, is now only found in one small pocket in western Gujarat in a relatively unknown, yet incredibly important national park called Sasan Gir. Hunted to the brink of extinction, it is believed that only 17 individual lions existed in the late 1870s. Realizing that the species would soon disappear, the Nawab of Junagadh set aside land for a reserve in the early 20th century. Clearly, this guy was way ahead of his time.
Gujaratis are exceptionally proud of their lions, and locals are thrilled to discover that we have come to Gujarat for the express purpose of seeing one. Many of you might be wondering why we are braving the insane desert temperatures at this time of year – it’s because the lions are easier to spot when they hang out by the watering holes.
Everybody wish us luck!!!