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This Rare Image of Gir Asiatic Lion Lazing Around on a Tree Has Created Social Media Frenzy

On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also shared the image with the caption, 'Majestic Gir Lion, Lovely picture'.

Vijaysinh Parmar | News18

Updated:March 11, 2019, 2:36 PM IST
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This Rare Image of Gir Asiatic Lion Lazing Around on a Tree Has Created Social Media Frenzy
An Asiatic lion sitting on a ‘flame of the forests’ tree in Girnar Sanctuary.
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Ahmedabad: The rare moments of an Asiatic lion climbing on a ‘flame of the forests’ tree in Girnar Wildlife Sanctuary in Junagadh captured by the Forest Beat Guard has gone viral ever since it was shared by Deputy Conservator of Forests (Junagadh), Dr Sunil Kumar Berwal.

On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also shared the image with the caption, “Majestic Gir Lion, Lovely picture”.

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Image of an Asiatic lion as shared by the Forest Beat Guard.

“It was a moment of joy to capture the lion. I was on my routine patrol in the sanctuary when I came across a male lion climbing on a Flame of the Forests tree on March 5 at around 5:30 pm. It seemed as if he was posing for a photograph. I instantly took out my mobile phone and clicked the moment. It was literally a memory of a lifetime for me,’’ said 28-year-old Dipak Vadher, Forest Beat Guard.

In fact, Vadher said that lions are often found around this tree in the sanctuary and try to climb it. “Last year, I clicked some photos wherein a group of lions was trying to climb the same tree at the same spot but this year, it was a perfect photo,’’ he added.

Gir forest in Gujarat is the last abode of Asiatic lions in the world.

According to the last census of Asiatic lions, which was conducted in 2015, there were 523 lions in and around Gir wildlife Sanctuary in Saurashtra region of Gujarat. Out of the total 523 lions, 33 lions were reported from Girnar Wildlife Sanctuary.

“Dipak Vadher is a very sincere staff member and carries his own camera around during field duty. Some of his compositions are very good. ’’ Dr. Sunil Kumar Berwal, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Junagadh, told News18.

He also tweeted praises for Vadher, saying, “Dipak sees the forest in his own way as I have learnt from his photographs. Happy to see this picture of his being liked by all.”

Forest officials say that Girnar forests were once part of a major forest ecosystem comprising Gir and Girnar. Gradually, urbanisation and economic activities caused by major agricultural expansion and industrialisation have separated these two forests converting Girnar to an isolated compact patch of forest habitat of 178.8 square km.
| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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