2. Lion habitat has declined by 75% since then and lion numbers have dropped to less than 20,000
3. Only 9 countries in Africa have more than 1000 lions, while Tanzania alone now has 40% of the whole lion population
4. The African lion is heading for extinction.
5. Main driver for lion destruction is the reckless breeding habits of Africa’s human population. For instance, Kenya had a small population of 5 million people at the end of WW2, but that population has exploded to over 30 million.
6. Human over- population in rural areas means lions are killed routinely to protect livestock.
7. Trophy hunting is also a major cause of lion numbers declining, especially since the trophy hunter always wants the magnificent pride male, and once he has been removed, pride cohesion breaks down, with competing males killing all the cubs. It has been estimated that it can take 7 years before that pride can recover fully from the killing of the pride male.
8. Because hunters have wiped out so many wild lions there is a demand for a constant supply of living targets and lion farming has increased dramatically in South Africa.
9. In the last fifteen years the number of captive lions in S.A. has increased from almost zero to over 8000. That is twice as many as there are wild lions (4000)
10. Lion farmers grow out lions for at least three years before they reach huntable size. To help pay the cost of rearing lions, lion farmers rent out their cubs to be played with by tourists. And they take in volunteers who pay to be allowed to work at a lion farm (deceitfully described usually as a lion sanctuary)
11. What you can do to help the African lion:-
a. Cub petting. Do not patronise any tourist resort where cub-petting is allowed.
b. Volunteers. Do not volunteer at any facility where breeding of lions takes place. If there are cubs then it is a lion farm breeding centre.
c. Write to your MEP. And ask her to ban the import of African lion/leopard trophies in to Europe.