One of the India's oldest and most popular lions, Maulana, died from old age on Wednesday.
Maulana, the iconic Asiatic lion of Gir, worked with megastar Amitabh Bachchan in the Gujarat tourism advertisement 'Khushboo Gujarat Ki'. Amitabh worked with eight more Lions along with Maulana, in the year 2010.
Bachchan was so much influenced by Maulana after working with him that he used to take to his blog to describe him after finishing work.
He wrote, "LION!! And no, not just one, many!"
Bachhan further narrated the scene, "They are just coming in numbers..3, 4 its 7 of them, led by the male lion, two females and cubs! They calmly come up to the water and start drinking. The older male leaves the hole and sits down by the side, the others still moving about the water..."
On Thursday, Chief Conservator of Forest AP Singh announced the dead of the majestic lion. He said, "The lion, which frequented the tourism zone, was named Maulana because of his looks. He was around 16 years old and under treatment for the last 10 days."
Singh said that for the past couple of years, Maulana lived without his pride, and was one of the oldest surviving lions along with Ram, another old male. Ram, too, was 16 when he died earlier this month. Usually, a lion loses his 'lordship' of a territory in about three years, but Maulana and his brother Tapu could not be dislodged for several years. The two reigned over a group of 39 lionesses and cubs.