All’s not well with the Asiatic lion

Their numbers are at an all-time high, but the lions of Gir are plagued by habitat degradation, epidemics, questionable vaccinations and radio collaring, and a forest department that shuns transparency.

A pride of ten lions makes its way through the terrain, the females, sub-adults, and cubs tailed by a lone adult male as rivulets gush to their left. The camera filming them from behind zooms in as their relaxed gaits cut through a flooded landscape. Two lions—whether sub-adult or female we can’t tell, because the video is grainy—indulge in play. The male saunters as only a beast of regal bearing can.

It’s a reassuring scene in the wake of Cyclone Tauktae, which recently lashed western India and made landfall in the district of Gir-Somnath in Gujarat—the nucleus of the world’s …


Roshni P. Nair

Roshni is a features writer and former editor of The Morning Context's Chaos team. Her career spans The Ken, Reuters, the Hindustan Times and DNA. She is a recipient of the UNFPA Laadli award and was shortlisted for the RedInk Awards 2016 for her story on Mumbai’s leprosy colonies. Her far-flung ideas would sometimes drive our editor-in-chief Ashish up the wall, but he wouldn’t have had it any other way (even if he didn’t admit it).