Today is World Lion Day. As the name suggests, the day celebrates the king of the jungle and those who are passionate about the animal's conservation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to social media on Tuesday morning to share his thoughts on World Lion Day.  Stating that the country is proud to be home to the Asiatic Lion, the Prime Minister noted that in the last few years, there has seen a steady increase in India’s lion population. Prime Minister Modi recalled how he had the opportunity to work towards ensuring safe and secure habitats for the Gir Lions when he was chief minister of Gujarat.  The lion is majestic and courageous. India is proud to be home to the Asiatic Lion. On World Lion Day, I convey my greetings to all those passionate about lion conservation. It would make you happy that the last few years have seen a steady increase in India’s lion population. — Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 10, 2021 A number of steps were initiated to ensure that the habitats are safe and tourism also got a boost, he said, adding that the measures included involving local communities and adopting global best practices. Across the world, lions are on the path to extinction. According to some projections, the big cats could go extinct by 2050. Poaching and habitat fragmentation are believed to be the biggest threats to lions.  In most African countries, over 90 per cent of lions have vanished. As for the Asiatic lions, the last surviving population roams in the Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary. According to official estimates in June 2020, the lion population stood at 674. In 2015, this number stood at 523. The Indian government is proposing to set up eight satellite habitats for the lions within Saurashtra. The Rs 1300 crore project already has an in-principle approval from the forest and environment ministry. 

from asianetnews

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