India's Supreme Court has ordered western Gujarat state to share some of its endangered lions with a neighboring state to create a second home for them.

The Asiatic lion has been almost wiped out in India, but intense conservation efforts by Gujarat over the last 50 years have brought them back from the brink of extinction. There are now 400 Asiatic lions in Gujarat's Gir forests.

Political leaders in Gujarat have resisted efforts to relocate some of the lions to a forest sanctuary in neighboring Madhya Pradesh, but on Monday, the top court ordered Gujarat to transfer some of the lions next door.

The court said the lions should have a second home to ensure that the endangered species is not wiped off in an epidemic or a fire.