Asiatic Lions and the Gir Sanctuary
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Questions 31 – 34
31 When did Asiatic lions develop as a separate sub-species?
A about 10,000 years ago
B about 100,000 years ago
C about 1,000,000 years ago.
It’s almost a hundred thousand years since the Asiatic lions split off and developed as a sub-species.
Trick – If we go back ten thousand years we would find that there were lions roaming vast sections of the globe. But now, unfortunately only very small sections of the lions’ former habitat remain.
32. Pictures of Asiatic lions can be seen on ancient coins from
B The Middle East
In museums you can now see Greek coins that have clear images of the Asiatic lion on them.
33 Asiatic lions disappeared from Europe
A 2,500 years ago.
B 2000 years ago
C 1900 years ago
Europe saw its last Asiatic lion roaming free two thousand years ago.
Trick – Over the next nineteen hundred years the numbers of Asiatic lions in the other areas declined steadily, but it was only in the 19th century that they disappeared from everywhere but India.
34 Very few African lions have
A a long mane
B a coat with varied colours
C a fold of skin on their stomach
Asiatic lions also have a long fold of skin on their undersides, whereas not many African lions have this.
Trick – The colour is more or less the same, but the appearance of the mane is different. The Asiatic lion’s mane is noticeably shorter than the African lion’s.
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Questions 35 – 40 – Write no more than two words and/or a number for each answer.
The GIR sanctuary
35 The sanctuary has an area of approximately 1450 square kilometres.
It’s 1450 square kilometres in area and most of it is forest.
36 One threat to the lions in the sanctuary is disease.
But despite living in a sanctuary, which makes them safe from hunters, they still face a number of problems that threaten their survival. One of these is the ever-present danger of disease.
37 The ancestors of the Gir Sanctuary lions were protected by a prince.
All of them are descended from a few dozen lions that were saved by a prince who took a particular interest in them.
38 A large part of the lions’ diet consists of animals belonging to local farmers.
The Asiatic lions don’t have the Gir Sanctuary to themselves, I should add. They actually share it with about two thousand farmers. A significant proportion of the lions’ diet is made up of the livestock of these farmers – goats, chickens and so on – as much as a third in fact.
39 The lions sometimes attack humans especially when water is short.
And they’ve even been known to attack humans, especially in times of drought.
40 In ancient India a man would fight a lion as a test of leadership.
In ancient India one of the greatest tests of leadership for a man was to fight a lion.
KEY IELTS VOCAB to check and review:
habitat, sub-species, declined steadily, sanctuary, threaten, survival, threat, danger, disease, kill off, vulnerable, vulnerability gene pool, die out, livestock, drought, water shortage.
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