Lions once roamed the Asian continent from Palestine to Palamau. Over the centuries they were progressively wiped out throughout their range, ultimately being confined to a relict population in the Gir Forest and its surrounding areas in Saurashtra. For more than half a century now, this has been the home of the only lion population outside Africa. Today some 330 lions survive here, but the animal's precarious existence has virtually disappeared from our consciousness. How this state of affairs has come to pass, and what is the status of the surviving lions, is the theme of this book. The writer introduces the lion and its present habitat, and goes on to examine through written and visual records the interaction between this majestic animal and human beings in Asia, from the earliest available historical records to the present day. Through Sanskrit, Persian, and other contemporaneous sources the profound effect the lion has had on human civilization and culture, and the story of the destruction of the species in Asia is traced. Also documented here are the censuses conducted in the last hundred years to monitor its population dynamics, and the history of the attempts to find a second home for the lion, which still continue.