Pride exemplified via Mramba, the male African lion at the Virginia Zoo.
The future of African predators is in peril. It is estimated that only 10,000-15,000 free-roaming African lions remain, down from 50,000 a decade ago. African lions are now listed as Endangered (West African subspecies) and Vulnerable (East and Southern African subspecies) by the World Conservation Union and are on Appendix II of the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) list. African lions are in danger of disappearing altogether due to disease (FIV, bovine tuberculosis, canine distemper) and habitat encroachment. Today’s modern world subjects lions and other wildlife to many dangers. Mankind constantly seizes more and more of the remaining wild areas of Africa, forcing lions onto smaller and smaller parcels of land. Large-scale developments destroy the lion’s natural habitat. In areas inhabited by livestock, lions are frequently shot, snared or poisoned. And sadly, the hunting of these amazing animals for “sport,” for man’s pleasure, is still encouraged as a revenue producing industry by many African governments. African predators simply will not survive unless they are protected.
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