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Gir Wildlife Sanctuary

Sasan Gir Wildlife Sanctuary is counted among the finest wildlife sanctuaries of India. The only known home of the world-famous Asiatic Lions in Asia, Sasan Gir Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in Indian state of Gujarat. Spread over an area of approximately 1,412 sq km, Sasan Gir Wildlife Sanctuary has been home to Asiatic Lions since 1884. The rugged topography and a moderate and favorable climate support a wide variety of flora and fauna in Sasan Gir National Park. The vegetation in Sasan Gir chiefly comprises of dry deciduous forests dominated by short and gnarled teak trees, thorn bushes and grassland. 359 lions (as of April 2006) which live in a sanctuary covered with scrub and open deciduous forest habitats. Sasan Gir National Park supports over 450 plant species, 32 mammals, 310 birds, 24 reptiles and over 2,000 species of insects. Though, Sasan Gir is known for Asiatic Lions, the park also harbors a sizable population of Leopards (285 in May 2002), who are more visible here than in other wildlife sanctuaries of India. Other important and commonly noticed mammals in Sasan Gir are Spotted Deer or Chital (numbering about 30, 000), Antelopes, Striped Hyenas, Jackals, Nilgai, Sambhar, Antelope, Chousingha or Four-Horned Antelope, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Ruddy Mongoose, Langurs, Jungle Cats, Indian Porcupine, Chinkara, Gazelles and Crocodiles to name a few.

Sasan Gir Park also supports and shelters a sizable number of bird population. Major birds found in the Sasan Gir include Peafowl, Peacocks, Parrots, Raptors, Spoonbill, White Ibis, Black Ibis, Paradise Flycatcher, Honey Buzzard, Redheaded Merlin, Bonelli's Hawk Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Painted Sandgrouse, Blossom-headed Parakeet, Spotted dove, Spotted Owlet, Flycatchers, Woodpeckers, Flamingo etc. One of the major attractions for tourists visiting Sasan Gir National Park is to enjoy a lion safari. Jeep safari is the most enjoyable and convenient way to explore the rich and varied wildlife of Sasan Gir Wildlife Sanctuary and is very popular among tourists here. A lion safari in the Gir Interpretation Zone (4 sq km area in the park) almost guarantees a lion sighting. In addition several watchtowers and hides have been raised near waterholes, to enjoy close sights of the lions and other wilds of the sanctuary.