On World Lion Day, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised India's conservation efforts and noted a steady increase in the Asiatic Lion population over the years.
In a series of tweets, he greeted all those passionate about lions and said; "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.
“When I was serving as Gujarat CM [Chief Minister] I had the opportunity to work towards ensuring safe and secure habitats for the Gir lions. A number of initiatives were taken which involved local communities and global best practices to ensure habitats are safe and tourism also gets a boost."
World Lion Day is celebrated every year on August 10 to raise awareness about their declining population and conservation needs. Lions are vulnerable species, according to International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Red List.
Last year in June, India witnessed one of the highest growth rates of 28.87 per cent in the population of Asiatic Lions, taking their number from 523 to 674 in five years from the last population estimation done in 2015.