Do Lions and Tigers Exist Together in the Wild?

Most of the world’s 20,000 or so lions live in Africa, while the largest concentrations of tigers can be found in southern and southeast Asia, and far eastern portions of Russia. The only country that both of these big cats call home is India, where the Asiatic lion -- also known as the Indian lion or the Persian lion -- has been brought back from near extinction. The lion was hunted extensively there by Indian princes and maharajas, as well as by British aristocrats, until the early 20th century, when ruler Nawab Sir Muhammad Rasul Khanji Babi created a protected area for them in Gir Forest National Park. Meanwhile, India is also home to about 70% of the world's tigers.

Long live the king:

  • The tiger is India’s national animal. The territories of lions and tigers in India are geographically isolated from one another.
  • Since 2010, the lion population in and around Gir Forest National Park has steadily increased. In August 2017, the Asiatic Lion Census counted 650 lions in India, up from an all-time low of 12.
  • The Asiatic lion is similar to its African cousins. The most prominent differences are a fold of skin that runs along its belly, and a less-showy mane in males.
More Info: PBS

Discussion Comments


In 2017, there has been a lot of discussion over what should be India's national animal. Most want to keep the tiger but some say it should be a cow or an elephant.

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