16/06/2016 3:47 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:27 AM IST

Over 100 Lionesses Reportedly Pregnant In Gujarat's Gir Sanctuary

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Lioness and Cub - Sharing the loveTaken at Sasan Gir Wildlife ScantuaryGujaratIndia

In what comes as some great news, over 100 lionesses are pregnant in Gujarat's Gir Sanctuary, reports ANI.

As per the census conducted by the forest department last year, the population of lions in Gir has seen a rise. The census put the total number of the felines in the state at 523, up from 411 lions counted in 2010.

Giving details, Chief Conservator of Forest, Dr. AP Singh, said that there has been a decrease in the death of the lion's cubs, as all necessary measures were being taken when they fell ill or were in any danger otherwise.

The Gir protected area, consisting of Gir National Park and Sanctuary, Paniya Wildlife Sanctury and Mitiyala Wildlife Sanctuary, is spread over 1,412 sq km. The Gir sanctuary, located at Sasan in Junagadh district, is the only home for the Asiatic lions and attracts large number of tourists every year.

READ: India 'Arrests' 18 Lions In Bid To Find The 'Murderer' Who Will Get A Life Sentence

This comes even as police have taken 18 lions from the Gir sanctuary into custody for the murder of three people in Gujarat. The 'suspects' will have their paw prints taken and their feces will be tested as forest officials in Gujarat try to figure which among those 18 lions is the 'murderer'.

Once they find out who is the 'guilty' one, that particular lion will be kept in a zoo for life while the others will be released back into the Gir sanctuary.