Celebrate World Lion Day, help us protect this majestic animal
Whether you know him as the "King of the Jungle", the co-star to the" Witch and the Wardrobe", or even as a Cowardly cat in the "Wizard of Oz", the beloved lion is in danger of disappearing from the wild.
And it could happen within our lifetime.
The African lion is facing some pretty serious threats, including loss of habitat, human-wildlife conflict and trophy hunting. As few as 32,000 lions are believed to be left in the wild - a decline of more than 50 percent over in just the past three decades.
Given the lions’ grave circumstance, the International Fund for Animal Welfare is proud to take part in the inaugural World Lion Day today, August 10th.
World Lion Day is intended to raise public awareness about the plight of the lions and the need for immediate action.
Raising awareness and taking action to protect the African lion habitat has long been a priority for IFAW, including community and protected area efforts on the ground in southern and east Africa.
And for the past two years, IFAW, along with a coalition of wildlife groups, has been working to get the African lion listed as Endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) – which currently protects all big cats except the lion. An Endangered listing would make it illegal for individuals to import lion parts into the U.S., thereby reducing the American hunters’ incentive to kill this magnificent species. This would have a significant impact on lions given that more than half of the approximately 600 African lions killed for sport each year are imported to the U.S. as trophies.
If you are looking for a way to show your support on World Lion Day, start by taking action. Submit a comment to Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and let them know that trophy hunting is the most easily addressed and most unnecessary threat lions face today. It is also the best pressure for the U.S. to alleviate. By listing the African lion as Endangered, the U.S. government will send a message to the rest of the world that we won’t be a part of the unnecessary killing of an imperiled species.
It’s hard to imagine a world without the king of the jungle, but it’s a very real possibility. Celebrate World Lion Day with IFAW, and help protect this majestic animal from vanishing from the wild for good.
For more information about IFAW’s campaign to list the African lion as an endangered species and to take action, visit helpafricanlions.org.