Historically, the Asiatic lion inhabited much of Western Asia and the Middle East up to northern and central India. Today, only a fraction of these magnificent animals survive in the wild — in Gir National Park and the surrounding areas in the Indian state of Gujarat. Here, due to stringent protection, its population has steadily grown to ~650 animals, at last count.
Asiatic lions are slightly smaller than their African counterparts and sport a less developed mane. The most striking characteristic which is always seen in Asiatic lions, is a longitudinal fold of skin running along its belly.