India lion cubs bring joy to Gujarat

Newborn lion cubs in the Gir forest Image copyright IFS Sandeep Kumar

Indian wildlife officials in the Gir sanctuary of the western state of Gujarat have reason to celebrate again.

Weeks after flood waters killed 10 Asiatic lions in the region, forest officials have spotted 11 new-born lion cubs - who have already become famous on Indian social media.

Forest officials have also spotted four pregnant lionesses - so more cubs could be on their way.

Gujarat's Gir sanctuary is the last abode of the Asiatic lion.

Once widespread in Gujarat, their numbers shrank to a mere dozen in the early 20th Century, mainly due to hunting and drought.

However, in the last century their population has soared, thanks to a ban on lion hunting and several preservation measures.

In May, Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel said the lion population had risen from 411 in 2010 to 523 in 2015.

Image copyright ANI
Image copyright ANI

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