One of Africa’s most beloved animals, sadly over the last 21 years the lion population in the wild is believed to have been reduced by 43% – that’s the equivalent of three generations. It is now estimated that there may be as few as 20,000 Lions remaining in the wild and this majestic species is now listed as vulnerable to extinction.
African Lions are native to sub-Saharan Africa and live in rich grasslands and light woodlands of eastern Africa to the more arid areas of the Kalahari Desert.
Lions live in large family groups called prides, which usually consists of a dominant male, a dozen females and their offspring. Lionesses share the hunting and babysitting duties, but it’s not all easy going for the boys, who are responsible for protecting the pride and territory. As the only social cat, they have a well-developed sense of humour!
Ensuring African Lions thrive for years to come is no funny business. It’s estimated that between 16-30,000 lions exist in the wild. Lions historically ranged throughout Africa, the Middle East and southwest Asia. Today, the population is found in an isolated pocket of India, where the Asiatic Lion is classified as critically endangered with less than 400 individuals remaining, and sub-Saharan Africa.
Like lion numbers, habitat for lions has declined as human population, land cultivation and numbers of livestock have steadily increased in areas lions call home. Lions are often killed to protect livestock or as retaliation kills for livestock loss.