Photograph: ANI

Gir National Park in Gujarat witnessed an extremely rare phenomenon on Wednesday — that of a group of Asiatic lions drinking from a watering hole in the national park. Asiatic lions are rarely spotted and it is even rarer that they are photographs. The video footage released by ANI shows two lionesses and their cubs drinking water in one of the park’s watering holes. Asiatic Lions are an endangered species and the Gir National Park is one of their last homes. Also Read - Gujarat: Another Video of Bikers Chasing Lion, Lioness in Gir Surfaces; Three Arrested

The park is among the most protected areas in Asia. In another era, the national park was the hunting ground of the Nawabs of Junagadh and the lions were a favorite prey. The extensive hunting though, led to a drastic fall in the population of the lions and the area was declared as ‘protected’ in 1990. Also Read - This Video of Hooligans Chasing Lions in Gir National Park is Disturbing

However, the footage is just a sign of better times that seem to be on the anvil. The 14th Asiatic Lion Census 2015 revealed that the population of the Asiatic Lions has gone up 27 per cent from 2010 to 523 lions. Also Read - Lion roars back to teach an annoying traveler that you DO NOT mess with the King of Jungle! (Watch Video)

We cannot help but hope to see more such sights. Don’t you too?

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