Lions - Closer to extinction than you may think


image of lion in the dark

The issue

Lions are incredibly beautiful animals and possibly one of the most iconic animals on the planet, but they are also terrifiringly endangered.

"Just over a century ago, there were more than 200,000 wild lions living in Africa. Today, there are only about 20,000." - Panthera 

This is a catastrophic decline in lions and so rapidly that if it continues we will push them in to global extinction. Lions are already extinct in 26 African countries. "Though lions still exist in 27 African countries and one Asian country, only seven countries are known to each contain more than 1,000 lions." - Panthera.

Causes

A number of factors are causing Lions to be so endangered, including:

-illegal bushmeat trade

-habitat loss and fragmentation

-trophy hunting

-conflict with local people due to the real or perceived threat lions pose to animals farmed for their meat.

For a more detailed report see Panthera's "Beyond Cecil: Africa's Lions in Crisis

 

circus lion

 

Zoo's and Circuses

Contrary to what some circus and zoo owners may say, keeping lions captive is not helping lions. The habitate and lifestyle they have to endure is so unnatural for them that in many cases it causes depression, and unnatural forms of behavior such as repeated head-bobbing, swaying and pacing. 

Circus performances and going to zoo's teach audiences nothing about how animals behave under normal circumstances. 

 

What you can do

- Support animal-free circuses.

- Support organizations and charities that work towards protecting lions in the wild and freeing captive lions, such as:

Animal Defenders International

ADI Animal South African Sanctuary 

Panthera 

PETA

African Wildlife Foundation

 support ADI SA