The Asiatic lion was first described in 1826 by the Austrian zoologist Johann N. Meyer who named it Felis leo persicus. Until the 19th century, it occurred in Saudi Arabia eastern Turkey, Iran, Mesopotamia, and from east of the Indus River to Bengal and Narmada River in Central India. Since the turn of the 20th century, it is restricted to the Gir Forest National Park and surrounding areas. This lion population has steadily increased since 2010. In May 2015, the 14th Asiatic Lion Census was conducted over an area of about 20,000 km2 (7,700 sq mi); the lion population was estimated at 523 individuals, comprising 109 adult males, 201 adult females and 213 cubs. In August 2017, surveyors counted 650 wild lions.
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