The iconic Asiatic lion of Gir, named Maulana, who was one of the eight lions featured in the Gujarat tourism advertisement 'Khushboo Gujarat ki' died on 17 November. The advertisement also featured Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan, who wrote on his blog, "LION!! And no, not just one, many!" after seeing Maulana in 2010.
The Times of India quoted chief conservator of forest, AP Singh announcing the death of Maulana on 17 November. 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."
Watch the advertisement here:
According to the report, Maulana lived for a couple of years without his pride and was one of the oldest surviving lions along with his old mate, Ram.
Singh said that Ram who was 16 year old as well died earlier this month.
In a normal scenario, a lion loses his 'lordship' over a territory in about three years but Maulana and his brother Tapu had reigned over a pride of 39 lionesses and cubs for longer. According to TOI, Bachchan had described the scene when the ad was shot as, "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..."