The African Lion
Nothing quite epitomizes the wildness of the ‘dark continent’ better than the African lion. For hundreds of years the lion has captivated visitors to this ancient land. Over millennia lions have been at the centre of African mythology and folklore across the continent, and today, continue to influence Africa on a monumental scale. A ruling member of the ‘Big 5‘, the lion is often the most sought after animal by tourists. Tens of millions of visitors are drawn to Africa every year by the allure of discovering the magnificent beast with the large black mane, bellowing his roar across the grassy plains.
The Asiatic Lion
The deep jungles of India are famed for their strange and wonderful beasts; the Bengal tiger, the pygmy elephant and the Indian rhino, but hidden in the small Gir Forest National Reserve of Gujarat State lives the little known Asiatic lion.
The Asiatic lion has quite distinct physical characteristics such as prominent tufts of hair on their elbows and at the end of their tails. What is most notable is their size in comparison to the African lion. Asiatic lions are significantly smaller than African lions and the males often have smaller, sparser manes. Such features were once thought to have derived from thousands of years of evolution however recent studies have suggested intense inbreeding over recent generations has resulted in such characteristics.
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