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Poll: Do you support lion translocation from Gir to Kuno Palpur?
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Asiatic Lion Reintroduction Project

India Bronco Offline
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Hello everyone!

I'm a long time lurker, but I finally decided to join coz some interesting topic is being discussed here & I had something to say regarding this.

Many researchers including Kenneth Anderson (a renowned tiger hunter) of his time have also opined that the possible spread of lion through out India & eastern Asia was probably thwarted by the "more active animal".

Now can anyone tell me what is the possible cause of why lions didn't make it to East & South East Asia? The common knowledge is lions entered India before tigers did, if humans interfered here than why humans were so generous & allow entry to tiger to spread throughout  South East Asia & India? 

In Asia there are bigger reasons for tigers to be hunted than lions, the British mercilessly decimated tiger population in Asia, apart from that, from North East India to East Asia, tiger meat, body organs, bones, skin etc. are in huge demand. Even today, when poaching tigers have become so difficult, the focus has not shifted towards lion to that extent, still tiger meat & body organs are much sought after.  

Maharajahs in India use to import lions from Africa & having lions as pet was common. They used to introduce them into Indian jungles as well, so the  lions that were spotted in early 1800s especially in eastern India (Bihar & Orissa) could possibly be these imported lions wandering  in search of food after being dumped or found it difficult to hunt in tiger territory (Extinct and vanishing mammals of the Old World, pg.295). I mean it is quite possible that lions in Gir were also imported & relocated, the migration might have never happened (just a theory...lol). Isn't it baffling why lion migration stopped till India & couldn't spread to East Asia?
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Sri Lanka Apollo Offline
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(09-06-2016, 11:23 PM)Apollo Wrote: I like to add few info and points


1) The lion's impact on ancient history, culture and art is significant. The major civlizations from vedic to biblical times originated in lands ruled by lions. If you take vedas and epics like Ramayana, Mahabharatha all were written in Sanskrit. Sanskrit never originated in India. These are written by Aryans who were migrated to India from Europe and Persia. In their culture Lions played an integral part. 


2) Indus valley civilization originated in the North western region of the Indian subcontinent, which is lion country. The Asiatic Lion (Panthera leo persica) roamed over a swathe of Asia, from Turkey in the west to Bihar in the east, and from the Caucusus in the north to the Narmada river in the south. In the Indian subcontinent, the lion lorded over Punjab (Pakistan and India), Sindh, Baluchistan, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Jharkhand. This is where aryans settled, ruled and then started conquering other parts of India. These are the areas where sankrit thrived. For these people lions are the King. The lion's impact on South Asian history, culture and art is significant. Mahesh Rangarajan notes in his paper 'From princely symbol to conservation icon: A political history of the lion in India': "It (the lion) was perhaps only rivalled in its power over the human imagination in India by the tiger." Adds Divyabhanusinh Chavda, author of The Story of Asia's Lions: "In the Vedic period, you had Narasimha ("Man-Lion"), the fourth of the Dashavatara of Lord Vishnu. The Buddha was known as 'Shakya Simha', the Lion of the Shakyas. His first sermon at Sarnath has been likened to (and is known as) by Buddhists as 'Simhanada' (Lion Roar). The lion is also the symbol of Mahavira. And we, of course, know of Emperor Ashoka's association with the lion." According to legend, 2,500 years ago, Vijaya, a disinherited Indian prince migrated to the island of Lanka with 700 followers. Vijaya's grandfather was a lion. His descendants, the Sinhala ('Lion people'), are today the majority ethnic group on the island, the flag of which is emblazoned with a lion too. 


3) When these people migrated and started ruling other parts of the Indian sub-continent, they started spreading there culture. From 500 AD, Rajput princes across India started adopting the title Simha instead of the classical Varman. Today, we know this surname as 'Singh', most commonly associated with Rajputs and Sikhs. Lions find constant reference in the Delhi Sultanate and Mughal periods too. Sher Shah Suri, the Afghan warlord from Bihar who dethroned Humayun, reportedly acquired the name 'Sher' after killing a lion with his bare hands. The Mughals, Persianised Turko-Mongols from Central Asia, used the regal Persian Sher-o-Khurshid ('Lion and Sun') as their personal coat-of-arms. 


4) Lions largely inhabited dry, tree-covered Savannah and low-scrub jungle, this is where people settlements were mostly found. Asiatic lions were not a man-eater (in-general), they shared the land with humans in India. Spotting lions is far easy and people respected there strength and the pride style of living. Bengal Tiger which inhabited mature-tree forests, lived in dense forests. These areas are not so suitable for human settlements. The most important thing here is, it is very very hard to spot a tiger, even in these present days most of the villagers in the outskirts of the tiger reserve never seen a tiger. Bengal tigers are notorious man-eaters, people feared them.



Regarding Indian Lion Hunting 

1) Colonel James Skinner (1778 -1841), the famous founder of Skinner's Horse and builder of Delhi's St James' Church, is recorded as shooting lions on horseback. Another officer, Andrew Fraser killed 84 lions 


2) In 1810, a General Mundy shot a lion near Hansi (modern Haryana). In the first half of the 1800s, British soldiers stationed at a cantonment in Deesa (North Gujarat) are recorded as spearing lions. And the all-time record in lion hunting in India goes to George Acland Smith, an officer who shot 300 lions near Delhi in 1857. 


3) Soldiers of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the Sikh sovereign of the Punjab, are recorded killing lions with bayonets in Lahore in the 1830s. In Patiala, hunting lions was an annual affair in which "400 horsemen beat vast plains teeming with antelope and Nilgai. 

All this killing eventually did its job. Region after region recorded local extinctions: Bahawalpur (1800), Palamau (1814), Haryana, Baroda and Ahmedabad (1830), Sindh (1842) and Gwalior (1872). 

By 1890, when Prince Victor Albert visited India, the only place where he could find lions was the Gir forest in Kathiawar, where politics between three feuding princely states (Junagadh, Bhavnagar and Baroda) and the British Government in Bombay ensured safety for lions. Later, the Nawabs of Junagadh took on the task of preserving lions in Gir, where they survive till today.



I hope everyone likes this read.



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GuateGojira Offline
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That is the book that I mentioned, a good book, but still full of inaccuracies. The page about the size of the Indian lion is incorrect and a real mess of measurements, and even this chapter don't get to a conclusion about which of the cats was first in India (lion or tiger). However, like I mentioned before, newest and more accurate scientific (not popular) documents present a clarification of this issue.

I think that the case of the lion in the Indian culture is somewhat exaggerated by Mitra, as even Divyabhanusinh (2005) accept the fact that the lion was used as a royal symbol just because the tiger was to much spiritual and powerful, that they afraid that the kings could believe that they were in the same level of divinity, so they choose a more material image, not used before, and add to this the influence of the Babilonic-Persian culture and the love for the lion (pg 78 and 79). Also, the tiger is not just a vehicle of the divinities, but is a god by itself. Check this book:


*This image is copyright of its original author


It is amazing how large and deep was (and still is!) the cult to the tiger in all Asia.

Well, with this last clarification, let's return to the topic.

I think that more important that the presence of one of two tiger in Kuno, a real problem for the translocation of the lions is the government of Gir itself. If the lion is no more only in Gir, they will loose the monopoly and could affect they image. However, they say that they are only afraid for the safety of the lions. What do you think?
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United States Blackleopard Offline
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I'm actually looking into that book The Story of Asia's Lions, by Divyabhanusinh, there are lion sculptures and depictions all over the place in India, it appears more so  than the tiger surprisingly.  As well interesting to note there is picture called the A Lions Court. By Miskin, 1596-97 It states in the book, This painting from the Anwar-i-Suhaili shows the lion as the King of the animal world - a position rarely accorded to the tiger.




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I did see the measurements of the Asiatic lions in the back of the book, most only length is mentioned, some chest girths and height are, but the author seems to think Asiatic lion and African lion would be of similar size.  Perhaps if they had the larger numbers they would be.
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United States GrizzlyClaws Offline
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( This post was last modified: 09-10-2016, 07:24 AM by GrizzlyClaws )

It is very likely that the normal Asiatic lion was African lion in size, unlike their contemporary specimens.

However, keep in mind that they were still Panthera leo, not other lion-like freaks such as Panthera atrox or Panthera spelaea. It is unlikely they used to physically dominate those large tiger subspecies.
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GuateGojira Offline
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That is true, Divyabhanusinh (2005) even stated his believe that Crater lions are no bigger than the Indian lions (pg 22). However, the collection of measurements in Appendix 3 mix "between pegs" and "over curves" measurements, together with a few skin measurements. I made a great work collecting all the available measurements and create the next table, which summarize all those taken "between pegs" and all the available weights.


*This image is copyright of its original author


About the paint of the lion court, you should remember that this is a Mughal picture (at India, of course) and they already had the lion as a king, even long before they invaded India. In other words, this picture is not a reflect of the Hindu people, but from the invaders, although it use the Indian fauna. We most understand that Mughal culture is greatly influenced by the lion, as is based in the Persian culture. In chapter 2, Divyabhanusinh present an excellent account about what was the posture of Persians with lions, they never believed that it was a sacred animal, nor a god, but they do give them a great importance, so important that only the king could hunt them. The lion only arise in the Indian culture and art after the Harappans, at about 1,400 BCE (pg 55).
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Canada Kingtheropod Offline
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Great post Guate, as for size, I do think that it is maybe possible that there may have been dysgenics in the population or Gir lions. The same may have happened with Amur tigers. You see all these old records of huge specimens without a trace of them in modern time, why? Simple, the large ones where all hunted out!
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United States Blackleopard Offline
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( This post was last modified: 09-10-2016, 10:31 AM by Blackleopard Edit Reason: Adding pics. )

   
Yeah I think that's true, because there is a picture in the Story of Asia's lions showing a record breaking Indian lion killed by the Sayaji Rao Gaekwad of Baroda, in 1900.  Shot in the Amreli district, not sure where that is.


The depiction of the Asiatic lion below is from the hunter Peregrine Herne's book, where he witnessed the lion and tiger confrontation.  The artist's illustration is most likely what the hunter described, the Asiatic lion appears bulky with a decent sized mane.

Attached Files Image(s)
   
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United States GrizzlyClaws Offline
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The Asiatic lions are closely related to the Barbary lions, so they often have bigger mane than the African lions in the captivity.

Many people often mixed them up with the Barbary lions.
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United States Blackleopard Offline
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(09-10-2016, 10:56 AM)GrizzlyClaws Wrote: The Asiatic lions are closely related to the Barbary lions, so they often have bigger mane than the African lions in the captivity.

Many people often mixed them up with the Barbary lions.

Yeah I think Ive seen that, captive Asiatic lions with huge thick manes, not sure why though many wild Asiatic lions don't have the full mane.  I also am not sure why the Barbary lion would be larger or perhaps thicker than other African lions.  Many African lions are as thick and powerful as a lion comes, perhaps there are some subspecies that are thinner maybe for the topography they have to get across, it being longer flatter hotter weather, as opposed to say more of a forest like terrain of the Morocco mountains or Indian woods.
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United States GrizzlyClaws Offline
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These large maners aren't necessarily the Barbary lions, but many of them could be the African/Asian hybrids.
















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United States GrizzlyClaws Offline
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( This post was last modified: 09-11-2016, 06:12 AM by GrizzlyClaws )

@Blackleopard

Your analysis is good, but sincerely you have to abide the forum's rules.

No more lion kills tiger or tiger kills lion stuffs, you can draw an analogy between these two cats, but the versus theme is strictly prohibited. Several former posters didn't take this advice seriously, and they all ended up getting banned permanently. I truly hope you can become a permanent member in our community. If you can bring the concrete proof that lion got the superior canine teeth, we certainly encourage you to do so.
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GuateGojira Offline
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(09-10-2016, 09:58 AM)Blackleopard Wrote: Yeah I think that's true, because there is a picture in the Story of Asia's lions showing a record breaking Indian lion killed by the Sayaji Rao Gaekwad of Baroda, in 1900.  Shot in the Amreli district, not sure where that is.

This is the Amreli district: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amreli_district

The lion was hunted in the northern area, it is truly a record lion. According with appendix 3 of Divya.., there  is a lion hunted by Sayaji Rao Gaekwad of Baroda that measured about 10' 0''. No idea if they are the same animal, probably not, but still this is a good candidate from a 3 meters long specimen (the longest reported, measured between pegs, was of 298.5 cm.).
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Israel Amnon242 Offline
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Oh no, tiger vs lion again.... btw there is absolutely no problem to find evidence supporting the superiority of one cat or the other. And there is absolutely no problem to contest or refute such evidence. This thing has been debated for many years. These debates were full of bias and cherry picking. Result: inconclusive.
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Sri Lanka Apollo Offline
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@Blackleopard

All your posts are lion vs tiger crap. 
You've been warned. 
Any more of this same crap you'll banned.
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