Now you may have noticed that my blog is a bit of a mismatch. All I know is that I want to blog about my life, interests and passions and todays post is about something that is very close to my heart.
What is world lion day?
Some of you may not know but earlier this week was World Lion Day. A day designed to celebrate the importance of the lion around the globe and help raise awareness to their silent extinction across Africa and India.
There are numerous species across the globe that are classified as endangered and unfortunately, the king of the beasts is no exception. Facing threats such as habitat loss, human conflict and an increase in the lion bone trade these animals, like so many others are quickly becoming another victim of man’s greed. Focing more and more animals, including lions to live their lives in zoos, reserves and sanctuaries in order to try and ensure their survival.
Did you know that since 1972 lion populations have declined by a staggering 80-90% and what’s worse is that they continue to fall. Let’s look at some stats (trust me I hate maths too but this is quite an eye opener!)
- Forty years ago the estimated number of lions in Africa was around 200,000
- In 2012 the estimated number of lions in Africa was 32,000
- Today, in 2017 the estimated number of lions in Africa is 20,000
This means in just five teeny tiny years we have lost an estimated 12,000 lions in Africa alone. Should this decline continue we could be living in a world without lions within the next forty years.
And yet the Asiatic lion population is even worse with just 650 individuals remaining in Gur National Park, India which is the only wild habitat left of the Asiatic lion since being declared as a sanctuary for lion conservation in 1965.
You may be wondering why I am so passionate about an animal that lives on a different continent to me that doesn’t matter. The lion is my favourite animal and has been for as long as I can remember. This iconic species has been a big part of my life for a very long time and will continue to be for many more years to come.
It all started watching Disney’s The Lion King as a child and since then my passion has only grown, leading me to completing studies in animal management with the hopes of pursuing a career in big cat conservation.
Despite never having set foot in Africa (although it is my dream to one day go there) I have been both extremely lucky and blessed to have had first-hand experiences with these magnificent animals. From signing petitions to sleeping beside rescued lions in aid of charity to working alongside them in a private sanctuary I am indeed very fortunate to have witnessed these beautiful animals up close and let me tell you there is nothing quite like having a fully grown African lion stood on his hind legs in front of you, baring his teeth so close you can feel the heat of his mouth on your face to make you feel alive!
To me the decline of lions is increasingly worrying. To live in a world without lions and to be in the era in which this extinction may very well take place is incomprehensible to me. I will do what I can to try help ensure their survival but for all my efforts one person will never be enough. A wise man once said:
“Who will care for the animals for they cannot look after themselves? Are there young men and women who are willing to take this charge? Who will raise their voices, when mine is carried away in the wind?”
– George Adamson –
I know this has been quite an unusual and informative post so thank you for sticking with me! I just want to say that this post is in no way intended to force my views and thoughts upon other people. I am simply trying to do what I can to raise awareness for this iconic species. If you are however, interested in learning more or wishing to support any conservation efforts please check out the organisations below:
Thanks for stopping by!
Until next time,