Junagarh City, Gujarat, Dec 31: A four-year-old lioness sits alone staring at her brother who is being chased out of the group by her father.
The foresters cannot but marvel at the human reaction of this young lioness to the domestic squabble. She stops eating till her brother returns back to the pride.
Not just the sister, but the other sub-adults too move away from the group and refuse food unless he returns.
But soon they will realize the hard fact that the young lion has to move out of the pride and establish his own kingdom, say the officials.
This unique behavioral pattern has been spotted in a huge pride of 32 lions, the biggest in Gir sanctuary.
The foresters who keep a watch and document the behaviour of these big cats are surprised by the nuances of inter-personal relationships and bonding displayed by these Gir lions.
Deputy conservator of forest, Sandeep Kumar who is documenting the behaviour of this group said, "It is time for the young ones to move out of the group and have own territory in the next couple of months. The sub-adult male now has to prove his supremacy before the next breeding season, which begins in February."
However the sub-adult male, who is very attached to the parent group, does not venture out much. But the father and uncle are adamant that he establishes his own territory.
Kumar said, "When the father and uncle chase away this sub-adult, his sister of the same age too runs away from the group in protest, as she gets emotional. She sits away from the group for hours together staring in the direction where her brother has gone."
This is one of the biggest prides in the Gir sanctuary or even in the state. The pride comprises of seven sub groups covering an area of 135 sq km. This pride is often spotted in the tourism zone and is commonly known as Dedakadi group. Dedakadi is an area in Gir Sanctuary.
The pride of 32 consists of two male lions, about 13-14 years of age and who dominate the group, nine adult female and ten sub-adult female and 11 cubs of less then three years of age.
The two lions have not allowed any intruder in their territory for the past seven years. This 135 sq km area comprises of Malanka, Kasia and Keramba.
The Forest of Gir is well known universally. There is a kingdom of lions (Phanthera eo persica). These lions are also called as Asiatic Lions.
There is an increase in the lion population in the Gir forest. Today, more than 411 lions roam the Gir forest.
This could be the result of better protection and management inputs given by the forest department.
The protection and management significantly increased the lion prey population, water availability, and habitat improvement in the area.
In the Asiatic lions, a group having 2 adult males and several females with their cubs is called a pride. Here, two males together guard a territory; under which two or more female's territories comes that is called sub-group.
A sub-group formed by 1 to 3 adult females, their cubs, and sub-adults of previous litters. Adult males regularly visit these sub-groups and father the most of the cubs.