Saturday, May 28, 2016

Iranian lions

The reintroduction of lions to Iran involves the artificial reestablishment of a population of Asiatic lions into areas where they have previously existed before humans driven them to extinction in 1942. The only remaining big cats of Iran are the Asiatic cheetah, Eurasian lynx, and Persian leopard. The Caspian tiger lived in Iran and is now completely extinct. It is said that India wanted the Asiatic cheetah in exchange for the lion and was not willing to export any of its cheetahs. Today, the Asiatic lion only lives in Gir forest national park in Northwestern India. Cheetahs and lions both coexist in all places but now live in different parts of Asia and are extinct in North America. The lions and cheetahs of Asia are critically endangered! Since the early 2000's, scientists have debated the reintroduction of lions back to Iran and cheetahs back to India. Fewer than 500 Asian lions remain in the wild. The Asian lion's mane is slightly smaller than the African's. It is one of the few extinct species of Iran along with the Syrian elephant, Caucasian moose, Caspian tiger, and auroch. Despite of its size, the Asiatic lion mainly preys on buffalo because African lions hunt bigger prey and are larger than Asian lions. The Caspian tigers of Iran went extinct in the late 1950's.

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