Word Lions Day
World Lion Day is celebrated every year on 10 August. The day is observed around the world to raise awareness about lions and the urgent need to work towards their conservation. This cause was founded by Big Cat Rescue, the world’s largest accredited sanctuary dedicated to big cats. The first World Lion Day was observed in the year 2013.
According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, lions are “vulnerable”. Currently, researchers estimate that there are between 30,000 and 100,000 lions left on planet Earth. It is also estimated that the world has lost around 95 percent of its lion population in a period of five decades.
There are around 20,000 lions in Africa. The numbers of the only lion group outside Africa, the Asiatic lion in Gir, stood at 674 in 2020 from 523 in 2015, marking an increase of 29 percent
According to NewsOnAIR around three million years ago, lions roamed nonchalantly across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
Objectives of the World Lions day
- To raise awareness of the plight of the lion and the issues that they face in the wild.
- To find ways to protect the big cat’s natural environment
- To educate people who live near wild cats on the dangers and how to protect themselves and live in harmony with the lions.
Some Facts about Lions
- Lions are the second-largest living cat after the tiger.
- Wild Lions currently exists in India and Sub-Saharan Africa.
- Lions live in large groups called pride, similar to wolves
- Lions – with the scientific name Panthera leo – are the second-largest cat in the world, just behind the Asian tiger.
- The male lion weighs above 500 pounds and grows up to eight feet in length.
- Even though the Lions are called “King of the Jungle,” they live only in grasslands and plains – not the jungle.
- Female lions and their sisters live together for entire life. Their female cubs also stay with pride, even after they are grown, but male cubs must stake out on their own once they reach maturity.
- Male lions have majestic manes which make them appear as larger and more intimidating. Female lions also attracted to fuller, thicker hairs.
- The roar of male lions can be heard from up to five miles away, and their roar is the loudest roar of any big cat species.
- Lions roar will help them to find other lions as well as to proclaim their territory.
Threats to Lions
- Man-animal conflict due to increasing human interference in wildlife areas. Because of the rise in human settlements, the lion’s natural habitat is being turned into agricultural lands and livestock grazing grounds.
- Climate change is also a major threat. Rise in temperatures have increased incidents of droughts, heatwaves, storms, wildfires, and flooding
- The illegal bushmeat trade also adversely affects the lion population. Animal meat is obtained for commercial sale through methods of poaching, this does not reduce Lions’ food but it is also a threat to lions when they end up in traps laid for other species.
- Poachers kill lions for body parts such as bones and claws, which is mostly driven by demand in Asian markets.
- Hunting Lions have hunted for sport or ceremonial rites as well as trophy hunts for fun.
Where to see lions in the wild
Many of Africa’s wild lions are to be found in the East African countries of Tanzania and Kenya, and the Southern African countries of Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
A safari to the above countries provides better opportunities for watching lions interact, hunt, and, most likely, nap.
Tanzania hosts the largest lion population in Africa, with the bulk of the lions inhabiting the game parks of the popular Northern Tanzania Safari Circuit followed by Kenya’s Masai Mara, which is believed to be the best wildlife destination on earth.