@natgeo photo by @stevewinterphoto
Capturing the lions in South Africa for @AfricanParksNetwork - The matriarch of this pride has her 4 new cubs with her 4 sub-adults so this is a tricky situation - but the pro capture team and incredible Wildlife Vet Mike - make sure that the whole process concludes without a single issue!
Just as of last week, lions are roaring in Liwonde National Park in Malawi after decades of being extinct thanks to the work of @AfricanParksNetwork , the Malawian Government, @LionRecovery @leonardodicapriofdn and @leonardodicaprio .
Liwonde National Park was recently on the verge of collapse just 3 years ago -the park was overrun with poaching and more wire snares existed in the park than large animals. But in 2015, @AfricanParksNetwork assumed management of the park on behalf of the Government, and immediately got to work training and outfitting their Ranger unit, preventing poaching, removing almost 30,000 snares, and making the park safe for nature's return. In 2017 they reintroduced cheetahs, and just as of August 16th, they reintroduced lions to restore this iconic species to the park, and help balance natural systems by bringing back critically needed predators. This population is expected to triple in the next few years - and will be supplemented with individuals from other parks African Parks manages in Malawi to ensure for a healthy genepool - as well as help with tourism to the park, benefiting the surrounding local communities. There are fewer than 20,000 lions left in Africa, down from 200,000 just 100 years ago - and their long-term future remains in question: they are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, lack of prey, unsustainable hunting and now poaching for their skins, bones, claws and other body parts. But projects like these show how with determination, political will, community support, and simply envisioning a better future, we can bring this species back as well as protect our last wild landscapes, benefiting both wildlife and people, and creating a better existence for all. To learn more about this project and other inspiring conservation stories from across Africa, please follow @AfricanParksNetwork