Africa's lions are in serious decline. We need to act now to save them.
Can you imagine Africa without the lions?
Unfortunately, these mighty beasts are in serious trouble. In just a couple of decades, the African lion population fell from an estimated more than 75,000 to fewer than 40,000 — a staggering decline of nearly 50%.
If we don’t take dramatic action right now, Africa’s lions could disappear in the wild.
Fortunately, it’s not too late to save the king of the beasts.
Habitat loss, decline in prey and conflicts with humans are all taking their toll on these beloved big cats. In fact, lions have largely disappeared from three quarters of their historic African range.
Worse, African lions are still being hunted as trophies despite these threats, winding up stuffed and mounted rather than living in the wild.
The U.S. is the world’s largest importer of African lion products — and the number of lion trophies imported into this country is increasing.
Watch the videos below explaining the names we’ve submitted and then visit the Zoo’s website to cast your vote! The deadline for voting is 12 p.m. on Wednesday, December 15th.
Female Cub: Nasera
Nasera means “leader” in the Maasai language. It is also the name of a courageous conservationist in Kenya fighting to save the lives of lions. Watch Defenders President Rodger Schlickeisen explain why he chose Nasera’s name to represent the female cub.
Male Cub: Metiaki
Metiaki means “courageous” and is also the name of a Maasai conservationist fighting to save lions in Kenya. Watch Caroline Kennedy, Senior Director of Field Conservation Programs at Defenders, explain her choice.
The Plight of the African Lion
The lion is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable symbols of the African landscape. But you may not be aware that this majestic icon’s very survival is being threatened by habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation, conflicts with humans, poisons and unsustainable international trophy hunting. African lion numbers have declined significantly over the last century and today as few as 16,000-23,000 remain in all of Africa.
African lion numbers have declined significantly over the last century and today as few as 16,000-23,000 remain in all of Africa.
The Lion Guardians Program
Defenders is contributing funding to the innovative—and highly successful—Lion Guardians program developed by Living With Lions. The program employs Maasai warriors—who traditionally kill lions to demonstrate their bravery—as Lion Guardians, who now monitor and protect lions instead of killing them.