Protecting Lions in India’s Gir National Park, Forest is a serious job and one that a has been taken on by a group of women known as the ‘Lion Queens’.
The Lion Queens started in 2007 when the state of Gujarat decided to employ a small group of women in the forestry department in Gir National Park. Instead of taking ‘desk jobs’ the women opted to take on the extremely tough but rewarding roles as forest guards. Today 46 women forest guards working right on the front line, a further 43 women have been recruited and are going through intensive training right now.
Gir is home to the highly endangered Gir Lions as well as a host of other wildlife including leopards, crocodiles, deer, snakes and Hyena. The Lion Queens rescue Lions, and other wildlife, arrest poachers, work with local villagers to reduce human-wildlife conflict, bottle feed leopard cubs and overcome dangers almost every day in their jobs.
One of the toughest of the Lion Queens is Rasila Vadher, who now heads up the entire wildlife rescue team, can be seen here in this video which gives you a taste of what these amazing ladies do to keep wildlife and people safe.
Wonderful women, so good to read about and have just been listening to the radio about two women snake rescuers, one Australian and on from India.
It’s great to see more Women getting involved in protecting wildlife. There is also a group called the Black Mambas in Africa http://www.blackmambas.org/