Asian Lions at Dublin Zoo
You may have never realised that lions resided outside of Africa but in fact, lions historically have roamed Europe, Asia and Africa. Unfortunately, there are only an estimated 400 Asian lions left in the wild in one small pocket of the Gir Forest, a national park in India. Asian lions differ from African lions in that they are smaller, the males have short and darker manes and they have a thicker coat than their African counterparts.
The tassel on the end of their tail is longer than that on the African lion. One of the most notable physical characteristics of the Asian lion is the longitudinal fold of skin that runs along their belly- this is absent in the African lion. Their coat colour ranges from ruddy tawny, heavily speckled with black, to sandy or buff-grey. Like all cats they have powerful retractable claws and long sharp canine teeth.
Where do they live? (Natural habitat) Today Asian lions live in the wild in the Gir forest National Park and Sanctuary in the state of Gujarat in India. The park was set up in 1965 to protect the lions. How long do they live? They live between 16-18 years in the wild and up to 24 years in captivity. What do they eat? The Asian lion is a carnivore, eating antelope, wild boar, buffalo and small deer.
They are ambush predators using stealth to approach their prey. Then they charge, reaching a top speed of 56 kph, and either grab or knock down their prey before it outruns them. Hunting takes place at night. However, where the vegetation is thick offering good cover, it can occur during the day. Group name
They are highly social animals and live in a group called a pride. The pride is a family unit where all of the lionesses are related. Zoo Location The Asian lions can be seen in the Asian Forest Habitat in Dublin Zoo. The Asian Forest Habitat was opened in the spring of 2012. Closest related species / sister species The Asian lion and the African lion are subspecies of the same species.