Wildlife

Living with lions

Print edition : March 08, 2013

A scene captured in the Gir Protected Area. Lion conservation is of global significance, given the lion's endangered status. Photo: Bushan Pandya

Siblings in a relaxed mood. Photo: Bushan Pandya

There is no magic pill to solve the problem of human-carnivore conflict. Photo: Bushan Pandya

Between now and the time Zaverchand Meghani wrote his pome 'Charan Kanya' in the early 20th century about a lion-human 'encounter', lion populations in India have dwindled and then expanded. Photo: Bushan Pandya

An adult lion claw-marking a tree. Photo: Bushan Pandya

Besides lions, the Gir forest has a high density of leopards. Photo: Bushan Pandya

Chital deer, important prey for lions and leopards. Photo: Bushan Pandya

Sambar deer, important prey for lions and leopards. Photo: Meena Venkataraman

The beautiful Indian Pitta, whose arrival in Gir signals the onset of the monsoon. Photo: Bushan Pandya

An owl, which forms part of Gir's fauna. Photo: Bushan Pandya

The proud Indian peacock. Photo: Meena Venkataraman.

Bjra crop cultivated on farms around the Gir PA. Photo: Meena Venkataraman

Onion crop cultivated in farms around the Gir PA. Photo: Meena Venkataraman

A woman of the Ahir community, a Maldhari tribe in the Gir area. Photo: Meena Venkataraman

A view of the dry deciduous Gir forest. Photo: Meena Venkataraman

A farmer and his family on their farm. Photo: Meena Venkataraman

A Maldhari resident of the Gir forest. Photo: Bushan Pandya

A Maldhari resident of the Gir forest. Photo: Meena Venkataraman

A typical person from the Siddhi community living in the Gir forest. The Siddhis evoke curiosity because of their African features and distinctive culture. Photo: Meena Venkataraman

Children of the Siddhi community. Photo: Meena Venkataraman

A Maldhari resident of the Gir forest. Photo: Bushan Pandya

Siddhi women with the jamuns they collected. Photo: Bushan Pandya

While the continued growth of the lion population in the Gir Protected Area and the dispersal of lions bring cheer, issues relating to human-carnivore conflict create anxiety for the future.
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