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Asiatic lion and lioness by Bhaskar D.K.
The lion once roamed from Southern Europe and Africa right up to Central India. They have been shot to extinction in North Africa and throughout most of their historical range. Even in sub-Saharan Africa, where they had been doing quite well, they are under severe threat from poaching and habitat loss. A tiny population of Asiatic lions hold on in the Gir Lion Sanctuary on the peninsula of Saurashtra, India. Lions are the most social of all cats, and live in organized groups called ‘prides’ made up of four to 40 individuals. Lions hunt in groups, usually at night or at dawn. Their preferred prey are large mammals such as sambar and chital in India and wildebeest, buffalos and zebras in Africa.