1000 Flowers for the Planet - #218 Save the Lions
With thanks to Guest Writer, Stephanie Keys:
There are currently around 30,000 lions living in the wild in Africa. This might sound like a lot, but only a century ago we had as many 200,000. And in West Africa there are 250 lions remaining. No, that number is not missing a zero. That means we’ve lost an average of 1,700 lions every year – so despite all the lion cubs that may be born each year, we’re still losing them faster than they’re being born. At this rate, we’ll lose our lions altogether within 20 years. Can you imagine your grandchildren not ever being able to see a lion? What kind of tragedy would it be to lose them? So what’s causing their disappearance in the wild? Poachers hunt down lions so that they can sell their bones to make tiger wine (Flower #218). Lions are also farmed, for things such as canned hunting (Flower #92) whereby hunters pay lion ‘farmers’ exorbitant amounts of money to ‘hunt’ a lion in a controlled/fenced area. There is also a phenomenon known as cub petting, in which big cat cubs are carted all over the countryside from as young as six weeks to be paraded about for the general public to interact with. Not only are the conditions of this practice unsound, using wild animals for entertainment is just against the laws of nature. And when the cub gets too old? You’d like to think that they get a nice home and live a full life. But you’d be wrong. Another threat to lions is the encroachment of humans on habitats. New land is constantly being farmed and built upon, reducing habitats and leading to lions entering within these new human spaces to find food in the form of livestock. When a lion takes the life of livestock, the people take the life of the lion. Little wonder their numbers are dwindling so quickly. Save the lions. Spread the word. Educate the people.