No. 3 of the 3 winning animals from the #WorldAnimalDay Vote: Lions
Only forty years ago, 200,000 lions roamed Africa. Since then, the population has plummeted to just over 20,000 – a 90 percent decrease. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has classified the lion as “Vulnerable” on its Red List. The iconic big cats have been wiped out in twelve African countries, and possibly as many as sixteen.
Trophy hunting is a serious menace, especially in South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Zambia, where wealthy tourists pay five-figure sums for the “privilege” of shooting a lion. The killing of a dominant male is particularly devastating, as males taking over a pride kill the cubs of their predecessors. Shooting a single dominant male lion can thus mean the deaths of up to twenty lions in total.
As if traditional trophy hunting were not barbaric enough, in South Africa, lions are being bred specifically to be shot. The “king of the jungle” is thus being turned into a factory-farmed trophy. More lions live in captivity there than in the wild, and around 1,000 are killed every year. Canned "hunting” of captive and virtually tame lions does not reduce the pressure on their wild counterparts – it often serves as a gateway drug to hunting wild lions.
Please sign the petiton in my bio calling on the presidents of South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Zambia to ban all forms of hunting and farms, and put stronger protection laws in place to help protect them for future generations. Lions belong in the wild, not in farms waiting to be shot.
Photo via @lukewaitphotography
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