Thursday, the 10th of August is World Lion Day, an important annual highlight of the risks facing the Africa’s most beloved big cat.
Several organisations have made it their mission to double the number of endangered lions by 2050, but it’s an endeavour that requires significant help.
Despite the King of the Jungle being the world’s most adored animal, lions are slowly falling to extinction, despite the efforts of conservationists worldwide. World Lion Day aims to stem that flow, raising awareness over the plight of a global icon.
According to the IUCN Red List, all lion populations are threatened, contrary to popular belief.
“To lose the lion from our world would be to lose part of our global heritage,” says the campaign. “Wherever you may be, join us on August 10th to celebrate the lion, create much needed conservation awareness and help us save the King of Beasts and his kingdom.”
In South Africa, the immediate concern is of course the Department of Environmental Affairs’ intention to facilitate the sale of lion bones to foreign markets – many of which already plunder the African content, driven by the mad demand for traditional medicine with no scientific basis.
Despite the efforts of local lion protectors, the plan seems fated to go ahead. One potential reprieve is that only captive-bred lions will be involved in the trade.
So – what can you do for World Lion Day? Spread awareness, raise funds, donate! Tell your social media friends how important it is to save our majestic cats, and show them that more needs to be done.
In 1975, says the campaign, there were 250 000 lions in Africa. Today, there are a mere 25 000. That’s 10%. 18 of the 86 Lion Conservation Units established eleven years ago have already gone extinct.
Lions have lost more than 80% of their range. They’re being suffocated by human expansion, and they need our help.
There’s no Big Five without the lion. The situation is dire, and it’s time to act!
For a list of organisations to support, visit http://www.worldlionday.com/associates/.