SAVE THE LION
Poaching and habitat loss, the lions are facing extinction
Perhaps the most iconic animal of them all, the lion, is today another threatened species. During the last twenty years the lion population has decreased by close to 50 percent, and is locally extinct in fifteen African countries. It’s estimated that only about 23,000 lions remain in the wild. The decreasing population is mainly due to human expansion, as lions lose their habitat when cities, agriculture and roads are built and expanded. Restricted living space force lions to live closer to humans, and livestock, creating ‘human-wildlife’ conflicts. Lion attacking livestock more often result in farmers killing them, to protect their livelihood.
In addition to habitat loss to agriculture, lions are also hunted for pure pleasure by trophy hunters, who want to bring home a trophy – head and skin. The skeletons are sold on the extensive black market for use in Chinese traditional medicine, predominantly in Asia.
So called Lion Parks, mainly found in South Africa, are breeding lions in captivity. Lion cubs are taken from their mothers, sometimes just 24 hours after birth, to be displayed for ‘pay and play’, where tourists can come and pet baby lions. In the lions lifespan on these breeding farms they serve as tourist attractions from their first breath as cuddly pets to ‘selfie models’ in their adolescent, then trained into submission for tourist bush walks until they are fully grown and can be purchased online by trophy hunters for so called canned hunting – a hunt where these ‘tame’ lions, often sedated, are put in a larger enclosure where food are placed out to lure them close to the hunters, to then be shot and killed at close range.
What you can do…
Educate yourself about the threats our wild lions are facing, then share it with friends and family – in conversations, on social media – create awareness. Knowledge is power.
When traveling and on holiday never visit facilities that offer interaction with lions – cubs or adults. Don’t buy souvenirs or other items made out of lion parts.
You can also make a donation or become a monthly donor to support our work with animals and nature, every month. Donations and sponsoring partnerships are crucial for our continued work to save the world’s remaining lions, and give them a chance to thrive again.
With us you can Volunteer Travel and get the opportunity to work on lion sanctuaries where they save, help and rehabilitate wild lions, or experience other wildlife conservation projects around the world.