The average size of pride in Gir and Greater Gir forest has recently risen from 8 Asiatic lions to 14 to 18 lions, as far as the officials can gauge from photographic and video evidence. Reports have claimed to have seen prides with 12 to 14 lions, which usually have at least three female lions, sub-adults, and cubs. Experts have also said that pride sizes in the outer areas of the forest are bigger, possibly because preys like cows and nilgai are easily accessible here.
On June 5, the World Environment Day, Preeti Pandya, wife of a wildlife conservationist and a well-known wildlife photographer Bhushan Pandya, captured 18 Gir lions in one frame. This is said to be the largest number of lions ever caught in a single photograph. Pandya said that there were actually 20 lions but two were out of frame.
In 1985, 34 lions were spotted in a single pride. However, later it was discovered that this was because of illegal lion shows. This incident had made headlines back then.
The lion population in Gir, which is spread over 30,000sqm, is estimated to be around 750 as per data published March 2022. However, some experts believe that the figure could be in 1000s.